SPORT

We can put them under pressure: Harbhajan

KOLKATA, NOV. 29. A moderate total by the opponent and a good start by his own team has left Harbhajan Singh optimistic. "I hope we will be able to make 500 and put them under pressure in the second innings,'' said Harbhajan after the second day's play.

"This is the first time we have got a good chance to put them under pressure and we must make the most of it,'' he said, adding that the slow approach by the South African batsmen in Kanpur "hardly gave any time to fight it out. However, the situation appears different here and if we make a good score in the first innings there is a bright chance of winning."

The off-spinner put the onus on friend Virender Sehwag. "If Viru stays for a long time there will be runs and it will get us quickly to a big total.''

Harbhajan was critical of South Africa's defensive tactics. "The way South Africa batted it looked like they didn't want to win. Their approach was very clear from their slow scoring rate,'' he said.

Harbhajan said Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan and Anil Kumble "bowled very well'' and felt that he was not underbowled. "It's a team game and I should bowl when the captain thinks it appropriate,'' he said, adding that the wicket was a "very good batting track with little turn and bounce.'' There will be "some purchase'' in the next three days, according to the off-spinner.

Average total

Jacques Kallis termed his team's total average. "We will have to bowl very well to stop the match slipping away from us,'' he said, adding that he may bowl in the second innings if the situation arises.

Kallis countered the argument that South Africa was too defensive, saying, "every time we walk to the field we try to win; that's always been our philosophy.''

Kallis said he relished his knock. "I am happy that I helped the team come out of a crisis. The wicket demanded patience and I tried to bat accordingly.''

South African coach Ray Jennings called Sehwag's knock top class. "Sehwag is a class player who can turn a Test into an one-dayer and that's what he did today.''

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