Legends hail India's jinx-breaking series win in England

Published: Tuesday, August 14, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai: Former players and the media hailed India's Test team after they clinched a first series victory in England for 21 years on Monday.

Rahul Dravid's side drew the third and final Test at the Oval to win the series 1-0 after recording a comprehensive seven-wicket win in the second test in Nottingham.

Rain had saved India from defeat in the opening Test at Lord's.

The series victory was India's third in England after triumphs in 1971 and 1986, and came a year after Dravid had led his country to their first series victory in the Caribbean for 35 years.

"To beat England in England is not easy," Ajit Wadekar, who led India to their first series victory in England and the West Indies, told reporters on Tuesday.

"The conditions are testing for visitors. They may have been without (Andrew) Flintoff and (Steve) Harmison but every England bowler knows how to exploit the conditions.

"Our batsmen put up an extremely good show and Zaheer (Khan) and the other bowlers adjusted quickly to the conditions."

England's defeat ended a six-year unbeaten streak of Michael Vaughan's team at home.

Kapil Dev, who led India to their last series win in England, hailed the series win but felt a victory in the final Test would have enhanced the side's reputation.

Dravid did not enforce the follow-on despite a first innings lead of 319 and his safety-first approach was subject of heated debate.

"If you want to blame, you can blame the entire team, they would have taken a collective decision," he told a news channel.

"Once he has decided to bat, India should have attacked and tried to win the match, not draw," he said.

"I just don't understand why there was the need to rest the bowlers."

Chief Indian selector Dilip Vengsarkar, however, backed Dravid's decision not to enforce the follow-on.

"We were 1-0 up. We had the series in the pocket. There was no reason to take the risk," he was quoted by the Indian media on Tuesday.

"Why would we want to bat on the fifth day?"

Rs 1 crore bonus for India for England scalp: Rahul Dravid's triumphant Indians were rewarded with a US$250,000 bonus by the BCCI for a jinx-breaking series win in England.

Indian cricket board chief Sharad Pawar hailed the win and announced a bonus of Rs 1 crore (US$250,000) for the 16 players, interim manager Chandu Borde and assistant coaches Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad.

"I would like to congratulate the Indian contingent for their excellent teamwork and performance against England in the Test series," Pawar said in a cricket board statement.

"I am sure every Indian will feel proud of our players, who have won a series in England after a gap of 21 years. I am sure a similar performance will be shown in the one-day series."

The seven-match one-day series starts at the Rose Bowl on August 21.

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