I had proved Woolmer wrong in 2005 Bangalore Test: Inzamam

Lahore, April 2 (IANS) Former Pakistan captain Inzamam ul Haq has said that he once proved then coach Bob Woolmer wrong during their famous Bangalore Test victory against India.

In a YouTube video, he revealed that Woolmer had thought that his decision to declare was wrong.

It was the third Test of the 2005 series and Pakistan had to win it to level the series 1-1. They eventually won by 168 runs against Sourav Ganguly’s India.

“My 100th Test match [in Bangalore] was a very special moment for me. The entire tour was very special,” Inzamam said on his Youtube channel as quoted by cricketpakistan.com.pk.

“The Bangalore Test was very important for us as a team. When we were going for that India series in 2005, all analysts and former cricketers claimed this was the weakest Pakistan team touring India. They believed we would get quashed by a strong India side. We did not have a powerful bowling attack and I, as captain, was confused how we would get them out,” the stylish right-handed batsman said.

Inzamam said that a partnership between all-rounder Abdul Razzaq and wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal was instrumental in turning things around for the away side during the first Test.

“We were losing our first Test. We had lost wickets. Kamran Akmal and Abdul Razzaq were standing at the crease. I think Kamran played one of the best innings of his life and we avoided failure. Our team was really down and we did not have big players in the side. The partnership between Kamran and Razzaq brought new life to the team,” he said.

He said he was under pressure to deliver in the third Test and his father had come to watch him play for the first time.

“My father had never come to see me perform, but this was the only match he ever saw me perform live in which added more pressure on me apart from it being my 100th Test. People were also saying before the series that this would be my last as a player and as a captain,” he said.

Inzamam said Virender Sehwag, who was adjudged Man of the Series later, was their main threat.

“India had to save the last day and they went into a negative mindset. Virender Sehwag was the only player who I thought could take the game away from us. I even said this in our team meeting that if we get Sehwag, India will not be able to chase down the target,” he said.

“When I was about to declare in the second innings, I sent a message to Bob Woolmer that I wanted to give some overs to India today. Woolmer said that the captain and vice-captain should make that call. I asked Younis who agreed with me. I wanted to take a chance and called for the declaration. India had a great start in those overs. When I came back Woolmer said that he thought my decision to declare was wrong.”

The 50-year-old stressed that his decision to declare early helped Pakistan win the Test.

“The next day, I told my team that if we get Sehwag then they won’t be able to chase it down. That day, Razzaq ran Sehwag out. I thought that if Razzaq can run a batsman out, then it is definitely our day. India went into defensive mode after the wicket. I attacked with our fielders and even a batsman like Sachin Tendulkar couldn’t score. When we got to the last part of the match, we got an extra six or seven overs which vindicated my decision to declare early,” he said.

Inzamam further revealed many players had conspired against him by refusing to tour so that he could be removed as skipper.

“Some key players had even refused to tour India in this series and I was left with a very weak attack against a very strong Indian batting line-up. I think they believed that after losing this series I would be removed as captain and that could create chances for them,” he concluded.