The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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India lacked commitment, hints Stephen Fleming

Hamilton: Even while admitting that the pitch and conditions were extremely difficult for batting, New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming hinted that Indian batsmen probably lacked the commitment to do well under seamer friendly conditions in this country.

India saw their formidable batting line-up unable to cope with the unfavourable conditions yet again, succumbing to 92 for eight at stumps on Day II.

“It seems a very difficult wicket to bat on with the ball seaming around. It is not going to be better for the batsmen throughout (the match),” Fleming said.

“Having said that, you got to show commitment on such a wicket. It’s all about getting behind the ball and doing some real hard yards.

“There would be some balls which would have your name on it. But in between you have got to work very hard,” he said.

Fleming, who put India in to bat, said now it was up to his team to show how to bat better in these conditions.

“If we can get India for 100 and take a lead, we would once again be in the box seat. But for that to happen, we got to show that, in these conditions we can play very well and are committed to get the runs on the board,” he said.

Fleming said it would be wrong to suggest that his team was in a good position in this Test because he had been lucky in winning the toss.

“The toss is not going to be a major part of this game. It’s (the pitch) going to do enough and the team which is more committed is going to win it.

“May be you need some luck on your side — but then you make your own luck,” he said.

Fleming was ruing the 20 runs scored by Harbhajan Singh which, he felt, was a very important contribution in the context of the game. “Frustrating is the world for us. Harbhajan’s 20 runs in the context of the day was pretty vital.”

But otherwise, he said, his bowlers had an excellent day. “We didn’t let India off the hook at any stage and were bowling fantastic channels and lengths and making them commit to shots.”

Fast bowler Daryl Tuffey, the wrecker-in-chief with four wickets said he was satisfied with his rhythm in familiar home conditions. “My rhythm was good and I always love bowling in home conditions,” he said. He was particularly pleased with the wicket of Dravid, the backbone of Indian batting.

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