Carlisle: I would like Dion to get a century
Special Correspondent - 28 February 2002
Stuart Carlisle could not have been too thrilled at his side's performance on the first day of the Delhi Test, especially after winning the toss, but he did have two major gains from the day - the return to form of Andy Flower and a fighting knock from youngster Dion Ebrahim. In the press conference at the end of the day's play, Carlisle spoke on the day's play and the knocks of Flower and Ebrahim.
What did you think of young Dion Ebrahim's unbeaten 82 today?
There was pressure on him. Many have said that he cannot play spinners well, but if you are still there, not out in the end, and a century very much possible, it has to be a very good effort. He was the one who showed responsibility after Andy Flower got out. Dion had a simple strategy. He played with soft hands, straight and forward. Andy, obviously, we all know can play spinners well. I was looking forward to Grant Flower too, but he needlessly got run out. But that is a part of the game.
Andy Flower's effort must have pleased you today.
It is good to see Andy come through. He was not able to score recently, but today's was a great knock. The way he was connecting his sweep shots towards the latter part was tremendous. He did not play the reverse sweep initially, since there was pressure on him to get a big innings. When you are coming into a match without much form, you don't take risks, and that is what Andy did. Now that he has got his confidence back, you will see a lot of reverse sweeps in the one-dayers.
How do you view the day's play?
It could have been much better, but I am relieved at the end of it all. I would say that I am relatively pleased with our batting, though I am not very pleased. This has been a problem with us. We get into good positions and then do not capitalise. It is just what happened today.
Why do you say that?
Because we had staged a comeback after the initial setbacks. If you are a good side, you do not hand back the advantage to the other team.
What is your target now for the innings?
About 400. We had aimed for 400-450, and we are confident of getting there. At least a total of 400 has to be achieved. I see no reason why we cannot do that. I would like Dion to get a century tomorrow, a big century, and get us to a good total.
The pitch is showing signs of taking turn, even if it is just the first day. Will Zimbabwe be under pressure with the kind of spinners India have?
Yes, the pitch could break earlier than most people expected it to, but we have scored some runs already. India too have to bat on this wicket.
But Indians play spin very well. And you do not have quality spinners in your eleven.
What we have should hold us through. Ray Price bowled well at Nagpur. Having one attacking spinner and keeping the other end tight is what we will go for.