Winners', loser's speak pluses n minuses

Published: Friday, April 9, 2004, 0:08 [IST]
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Lahore:Admitting that losing the second cricket Test was a huge disappointment, captain Rahul Dravid said India were 'outplayed' by Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

"Yes, it is very disappointing to have lost the Test but the credit must go to the Pakistan team. We lost to a better team, we were outplayed," Dravid said after the hosts levelled the three-Test series 1-1 with a nine-wicket win today.

Dravid said the decision to bat first on a wicket that had enough juice to put the skids under the strong Indian batting line-up on the first day was one of the many aspects to be looked into but was not the only reason for the team's defeat.

"When you lose, there are lot of little things that need to be looked into. Toss was one of them but not the only reason for the loss," he said.

Dravid had also words of praise for the youngsters in the team. "Yuvraj played a fantastic knock, has shown he has lot of potential in Test cricket too.

"(Irfan) Pathan and (Laxmipathy) Balaji bowled well. So there are lot of positives to take from the match, and the attitude shown by all the members was important too," he said.

Winning captain Inzamam-ul Haq was happy that he got a pitch that suited his team's strength.

"We asked for a sporting pitch, we wanted a little help for our fast bowlers. (Shoaib) Akhtar got his rhythm going, hopefully he will carry it into the next Test as well," Inzamam said.

He insisted that the team had not lost all its hopes after the innings and 52-run defeat in the first Test at Multan.

"We spent a lot of time at the nets, to correct the bowlers' line. Batsmen's errors too were corrected in a similar way.

"We lost the One-day series and the first Test but we were not totally down. We had some amount of faith in ourselves," he said.

Inzamam, whose first Test hundred against India was instrumental in Pakistan posting a big total in the first innings, said he had a simple plan while batting.

"My form is good, I wanted to stay as long as possible at the wicket. I had a simple plan, to play one ball at a time," he said.

He said of Man of the match Umar Gul, for his five-wicket burst that rattled the Indian batting in the first innings, that the dismissal of V V S Laxman was "the most brilliant" he had affected in his career so far.

The right arm seamer was a bit premature in celebrating the victory as he pulled the stumps after India were all out for 241 in the second innings.

"Only then my teammates told me we have to bat again and score 40 runs to win," said Gul with an innocent face.

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