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'Timing of declaration was correct'

The Indian skipper says he is happy at clinching the series against Pakistan 1-0.

cricket Updated: Dec 12, 2007 23:28 IST
India vs Pak

India captain Anil Kumble on Wednesday defended the timing of declaring the second innings in the third Test against Pakistan, saying that he was happy at clinching the series 1-0.

"Winning 1-0 is fine. It was important to win the series," Kumble told reporters after the draw amidst high drama as Pakistan capitulated under the leg-spinner's five-wicket burst.

It was the first home series triumph for India against Pakistan after 27 years.

"On this wicket the only option to get wickets was when the ball kept low, which meant that you needed 10 balls to keep low and that could happen in 40 overs or in 150 overs! I think whenever I declared was the right decision," said Kumble.

Chasing 374 in 48 overs for victory, Pakistan were reduced from 44 for no loss to 162 for seven before poor light forced the match to end with 12 overs remaining.

Pakistan, who had made 537 in their first innings, finished at 162 for seven. India had scored 626 and declared their second innings at 284 for six wickets.

Kumble bowled unusually flat and fast and at times seam up to bag five for 60 in the second innings.

"In hindsight, I probably should have bowled medium pace in the first innings. We had to get to a situation where we could absolutely ensure a series victory," he said.

"And then, yes, we had a great opportunity and if the weather had stayed clear, we would have ended up winning the game. Forty-five [it was 48] overs was enough."

Kumble pointed out that the pitch did not provide bounce.

"The pitch was the same but there was not enough bounce, and it is hard at Test level if you have to get people out with balls that are keeping low as we had to adjust. But I thought we did well after being 61 for four on the first day," he said.

"If Pakistan hadn't bounced back we would have won the series 3-0. They did bounce back in Kolkata when wickets were down and Misbah-ul-Haq and Kamran Akmal ensured they got to safety."