Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Former players hail memorable Indian victory

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 18:30 [IST]
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Mumbai:Stating that India's emphatic 40-run win over archrivals Pakistan in the last one-dayer played at Lahore yesterday was a "memorable one", former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar on Thursday said the boys deserve accolades for their scintillating performance.

"I think the boys batted very well, particularly V V S Laxman, who looked in a good nick in the crunch situation," Vengsarkar said in Mumbai.

"Our bowlers also did very well and restricted Pakistani batsmen," he said adding, young left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan was the pick of the bowlers as he bowled superbly.

"Besides, our fielding was excellent and the catch taken by Sachin Tendulkar just in front of the boundary line to dismiss hard-hitting Inzamam-ul-Haq, was a spectacular one which proved to be the turning point of the match," Vengsarkar added.

Echoing similar sentiments, former chairman of selection committee, Chandu Borde said "I was impressed with the way in which left-arm spinner Murali Kartik restricted Inzamam."

"By winning the One-day series, the Indians have shown to the world that they can also win the series overseas," Borde said over phone from Pune.

The way our players, particularly youngsters like Pathan and Laxmipathy Balaji, performed in Pakistan is really commendable and that they have done themselves as well as the nation proud, Borde said adding, this indicates that Indian cricket has a bright future.

Meanwhile in Kolkata, spin legend Erapalli Prasanna too hailed India's historic victory over Pakistan in the One-day series as 'a wonderful team effort' and said that batting depth and the ability of young seamers to deliver when itmattered most fashioned the triumph.

"I always had a feeling that we are going to win the One-day series. Our team is very strong compared to the present Pakistan side," the former tweaker said.

"But having said that, I would also like to point out that this Pakistan team is no match for their past sides, including the one we played in 1978," he said.

In the pace arena, the visitors missed the class of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, while they had only two batsmen of substance - Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana - in their ranks, he said.

When told that the Pakistanis had quality pacers like Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami and Shabbir Ahmed, Prasanna said "They are still raw. Moreover, in a One-day game, the bowlers play a limited role as they get only a fixed quota of overs."

"I think Akhtar, Sami and Ahmed will be more effective in the Test series," the offie said.

On the match at Lahore, Prasanna praised Rahul Dravid for doing an admirable job as stand-in skipper after an injured Sourav Ganguly left the field.

Prasanna also appreciated the fine showing of seamers Irfan Pathan and Laxmipathy Balaji, saying that the two had apparently struck up a fine combination.

"While Balaji gave the first breakthrough, Pathan broke the backbone of the Pakistani batting. I think the duo will once again prove the old saying that fast bowlers hunt in pairs," he said.

However, Prasanna predicted that the coming three Test series might end inconclusively.

"My intuition tells me that it will be a drawn series. For instance, Indian bowling lacks the firepower to get 20 wickets in a match. Moreover, the young pacers need time to get into the groove. Had it been a five-Test series, the Indian bowlers could have come to terms," he said.

"On the other hand, the Pakistan team also does not look like a winning combination for the longer version of the game," he added.

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