Sri Lanka too will feel the pressure, says Pathan

February 18th, 2008 - 8:46 pm ICT by admin  

Adelaide, Feb 18 (IANS) India will face Sri Lanka in a must-win game Tuesday to keep their hopes alive in the Commonwealth Bank tri-series, but Irfan Pathan believes the island nation will feel the pressure equally since they are at the bottom of the points table. After the Indian batsmen’s pathetic performance Monday, Pathan said his young teammates were still learning the tricks of the trade and it would take them some time to hone their skills at the international level.

“Pressure would not only be on us, but also on the Sri Lankans as they are behind us in the points table. Sri Lanka have more games in hand but we have more points,” Pathan said on the eve of the match.

Australia with 17 points is placed at the top of the table followed by India (8) and Sri Lanka (6). India is still to play three matches while Sri Lanka four.

Pathan said the team was going through a learning curve, defending the failure of the batsmen to reach a modest target against Australia after the bowlers had set up the match nicely.

“The boys in the team are young at this level and they are learning. It’s going to take some time for them to become consistent performers in international cricket,” he said.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni faced a lot of flak from former players for tinkering with the batting order and sending Pathan at number three, but the all-rounder asserted he knows his role at the crucial slot.

“I knew that I would be bat at number three. In case we are chasing a big target, I have to play attacking cricket and if the target is small, I have to play normally without taking any risk,” Pathan said.

The Baroda pacer said the team had a meeting in the hotel to take stock and build a strategy to counter Sri Lanka Tuesday.

“We had a useful team meeting where discussions were held regarding the areas we needed to improve. I am certain its outcome will reflect on the field against Sri Lanka,” he said.

He also expressed his happiness over bowlers’ performance in the series.

“I am delighted to see the performances of all the bowlers in the series. It shows the quality the teams possess in bowling, but I feel the batsmen will fire soon,” Pathan said

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