First Test win a team effort, says elated Kumble

Published: Monday, November 26, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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New Delhi: Anil Kumble began his captaincy debut with a win by claiming seven wickets and the man-of-the-match award, but he termed the victory as a collective effort even as he said his batsmen could have batted better.

''Everybody contributed in the win and it was a team effort. Congratulation to the boys and the support staff,'' said Kumble after beginning his captincy innings on a high note - that too against arch rivals Pakistan.

Kumble had special praise for the bowlers, especially Zaheer Khan and Sourav Ganguly.

''It was great that they (bowlers) bowled them (Pakistan) below 250 in both the innings. The pressure the bowlers brought to their (Pakistani) batsmen by suffocating them led to their downfall,'' he told reporters at the post- match press conference here today.

''Zaheer bowled beautifully, angling and reverse-swinging his deliveries. Sourav also bowled and batted well.

''We have to improve in our batting. The batsmen did not bat the way they should have done. I hope they are able to post a big score in the next two matches,'' he said.

Kumble said the match was well-contested and fourtunes changed from one side to another and no team was having a clear upper hand till towards the end.

''I think we were being able to handle the pressure at crucial momemts better than them and till last evening the match was evenly poised though in the end it turned out to be easy to get 32 runs on the final day.

''Even after Dravid and Jaffer's big partnership, the match was evenly poised. Tendulkar and Ganguly ensured that India finish it off in style,'' Kumble said.

''32 runs was never too much a problem,'' Kumble added with a smile.

The 37-year-old leg spinner said there was nothing unusual in giving Ganguly the second new ball after Pakistan's 82nd over which brought the visitors' end with three wickets in four balls.

''I did not want to bowl and I thought Munaf Patel should change ends (from Tata End to Old Club House End), so I gave it to Sourav but by the time he had taken two wickets, the ninth Pakistani wicket had fallen.

So, I took up the ball and the run out was affected.'' On using Harbhajan Singh on short spells instead of giving him longer spells to get to his rhythm, he said the nature of the pitch demanded it.

''I know as a spinner myself he (Bhajji) needed longer spells. But, the pitch was slow and low and I wanted to keep the Pakistani batsmen in doubt all the time by changing the bowlers,'' Kumble said.


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