Dravid says team spirit won the series

Published: Sunday, April 18, 2004, 18:15 [IST]
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Bangalore : Vice-Captain Rahul Dravid on Sunday attributed India's historic Test series victory in Pakistan to the country playing as a team and leg spinner Anil Kumble getting support from young seamers L Balaji and Irfan Pathan.

"We played as a team right through the series", Dravid, accompanied by Kumble, said at the Bangalore airport, coming home after the memorable triumph.

"Whenever we needed a good performance by either one of the bowlers or one of the batsmen, somebody has come good. So, I think it was really a good team performance...where everybody contributed right through the series...so, that's how we did well", "The Wall" said.

Dravid came out with an epic 270, his Test best, in the third Test that laid the foundation on which India's victory was built. India beat Pakistan 2-1 in the Test series.

Asked if he ever thought that bowlers like Balaji and Pathan would "contribute to such a great extent" in Pakistan, he said both the seamers did very well.

"They (Balaji and Pathan) came into the team in Australia as young boys and it's nice to see their support to experienced people like Anil (Kumble)". "Anil had lacked a bit of support earlier and it's nice to see that he got support and that's how we were able to win the series".

And has India started the process of making winning a habit, like Australia ?

"I hope so. I hope we continue to do good work. It's just the first series we won. We have a long way to go, and I hope we will continue to play well like this", Dravid said.

Queried if it was a "meek submission" by Pakistan in the final Test which it lost by an innings and 131 runs, he replied: "We played well and that's why we were able to beat them easily". "Confidence and performance of a lot of young boys is definitely a heartening factor and it lasted a whole season. Definitely and hopefully, we gain and build from this and continue in the next season", Dravid said.

On the personal front, the season that has gone by was a good one for the Bangalore right-hander -- he hit three double centuries in nine Tests.

When asked about his 270 in the Rawalpindi Test, he expressed hope that he would get better and come out with performance like this.

Veteran spinner Kumble said the series victory over arch-rival Pakistan has been "great" and it's a "fantastic achievement".

"It's been the first time ever that a team has won in Pakistan and I think it's time to celebrate and spend some time with the family. It's really nice", said Kumble, who took 15 wickets to emerge as the most successful bowler on the tour.

Victors are back home

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