Kumble credits team effort for Test win
NEW DELHI, November 26: After leading India from the front to a memorable Test win against arch-rivals Pakistan, captain Anil Kumble heaped praise on his team-mates for rising to the occasion in the series opener at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium here on Monday.
Kumble, who started his stint as the Indian captain with a win, said all round performance by the team was responsible for the victory that gave the hosts a crucial 1-0 lead.
“It’s great. The ground is very special for me, everything happened here. The boys responded well. It was creditable on the part of the bowlers to restrict Pakistan to less than 250 in both the innings.
“Then we had some useful partnerships. The stand between (VVS) Laxman and (MS) Dhoni was crucial in the first innings. In the second innings, partnerships between (Wasim) Jaffer and Rahul (Dravid) and between Sachin (Tendulkar) and Sourav (Ganguly) were also important,” the ace leg-spinner said.
Kumble, adjudged the man of the match, was delighted that after a three-month hiatus he struck form very quickly and scalped seven Pakistani batsmen in the match.
“It was important to get into the groove straight away, especially after a three months break and in this age,” he said.
Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik admitted that his team did not bat well and they were 100 runs short to throw a challenge at India.
“From the first day we did not bat well. We were 100 runs short. But our bowlers bowled well. You need to score 400 to win a Test match. Had we set a target of 300, we would have given a good fight.”
“However, (Salman) Butt was excellent and Yasir Hameed batted really well in the second innings,” he said.
Malik, however, counted on the positives and was optimistic about his side’s chances in the series.
“In cricket, there are good days and bad days. We had more bad days. But, they are all good players and I am sure we will come back.”
“Shoaib Akhtar is fit and it’s a great thing that he is bowling well,” Malik said.