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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gambhir accuses Australians of pressure tactics

Delhi: India's century-maker Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday accused Australia of resorting to pressure tactics to get him out on the first day of the third cricket Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla here.

Gambhir had run-ins with spinner Simon Katich and medium pacer Shane Watson. First he had an exchange of words with Watson when the all-rounder got in his way of taking a second run. Gambhir elbowed him out, but insisted that it was not deliberate.

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Gambhir then got into a heated exchange of words with Katich who, on his follow-through, came in Gambhir's way to prevent him from taking a single. Gambhir was furious and umpire Billy Bowden had to step in even as skipper Ricky Ponting and his deputy Michael Clarke ran in to pacify Katich.

"The way we batted, they had no other way and they were desperate to get me out. Under the circumstances it was important for me to maintain my concentration," Gambhir told reporters after the day's play.

But the 27-year--old downplayed the incidents, saying that such things happened in international cricket and that the team management is not going to lodge any complaint with match referee Chris Broad. "It has been a hard fought series and such things are bound to happen," he said.

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Gambhir's unbeaten 149 was his second consecutive Test century and also the first at his home ground. The Delhi batsman admitted that the 104 in the last Test in Mohali helped him to ease the pressure.

"My century in Mohali was very crucial. Before the start of the series, there was a lot of talk about my batting and I feel that century helped to take the pressure off me. I was playing at my home ground and I didn't feel any pressure."

Gambhir rated his century here better than the one at Mohali.

"In Mohali, the century came when we were already 200 runs ahead. But here I had to give a good start to the team and put runs on the board for the bowlers," he said.

Gambhir also said since Australian spinners, especially Katich, was able to get some turn out of the track, the job for him and the other Indian batsmen will be to put up a big score.

"It is still a good track to bat on. But as the match progresses, the pitch will crumble and there will be inconsistent bounce. So our target now will be to pile up a huge score for the bowlers so that they can take the 20 wickets," he said.

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