India need 40-50 overs for victory: Kirsten

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Gary Kirsten remains apprehensive about the weather but the India coach has no doubt that 40-50 overs would be enough for his boys to bowl out South Africa

Updated: February 17, 2010 15:21 IST
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Gary Kirsten remains apprehensive about the weather but the India coach has no doubt that 40-50 overs would be enough for his boys to bowl out South Africa for a series-levelling win on Thursday.

Kirsten said with South Africa 115 for three and still trailing by 232 runs, India held the edge but all would hinge on how many overs' play is possible on Thursday.

"We are in a pretty good position, we have got them three down and now we need just seven more wickets. It all depends on how much time we have," said Kirsten.

Asked how many overs they would require to bag the remaining seven South African wickets, Kirsten said, "Hopefully we will need 40 or 50. But it's very difficult with this weather."

The coach, however, believes that getting rid of South Africa's batting mainstay Jacques Kallis was a big relief for the team which would push for a win tomorrow to remain the number one Test team in the world.

"It was handy getting Kallis out before the bad light. They got some good players all the way through," he said.

Kirsten was happy with both his spinners and said the entire bowling unit would go full throttle tomorrow to complete the unfinished task.

"Amit (Mishra) bowled really good today and so did Harbhajan (Singh). With the two of them bowling really well and Ishant (Sharma) and Zaheer (Khan) adding to attack, we are really in a good position. It's only about how many overs available to us tomorrow," he said.

Kirsten said, overall the team played well in this Test and they need to keep up the good work tomorrow.

"We have had a very good Test, we played good cricket all way through. We have done what we felt we needed to do. As anyone knows, we are in a good position and obviously we would like to close it up giving our best shot in the amount of time we have got," he said.

Kirsten said the first target would be to remove Hashim Amla, who is holding fort for South Africa after a patient 49.

"He is a quality player, he has played quality cricket this series and he is really in a good form. It's up to us to make sure that we bowl them out. We bowling a lot of balls in good areas and we can put them under pressure and get them out," he said.

After the disappointing innings and six runs loss in Nagpur, India put on a vastly improved show here and Kirsten said the players just worked on the areas they could have done better.

"There was disappointment. There was a bit of talk around and they said they would sort it out. It's amazing how this Test match cricket works. Funny things happens. South Africa were 218 for one and then we were able to turn it around.

"This team is playing with a lot of pride at the moment, we proud at the way they are going about their businesses their performances," he said.

He said India had bounced back in the series, befitting to their number one status in Test cricket.

"We did not become the number one Test team out of nothing. We have got guys who have got ranking records. I think we are very proud of our performances. We had a wobble in the last Test, we were unfortunate with injuries as well, losing quite a good experienced players.

"But we bounced back. We can take a lot of pride in the guys who were really determined to bounce back. This team has shown over a while now that when they are back to the wall they can bounce back. I am happy not only for batsmen but for bowlers as well," Kirsten said.

He also hailed the return of VVS Laxman who had an unbeaten century to his name in India's big total of 643/6 declared.

"He is a high quality player. It was great to have him back. We know what he can do and what he is capable of," he said.

Just before the series, South African adventure-explorer Mike Horn had given the team a pep-talk to square off the series and Kirsten also took the occasion to thank him.

"It was just fantastic to listen to him. Paddy (Upton) organised for the team. The guys were really inspired by him. The timing just worked well.

"He is quite a busy man, at the moment he is travelling around the world. He just happened to be in this area this time. Paddy knows him quite well, it just happened. The guys really enjoyed his inspirational stuff. We enjoyed having him around."

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