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We can be the best team: Anil Kumble

India might have lost the Test series to Australia, but India skipper Anil Kumble is proud at the way his boys played.

cricket Updated: Jan 28, 2008 21:00 IST

India might have lost the four-match Test series to Australia, but skipper Anil Kumble was proud at the way his boys played and gave a tough fight to the World Champions in their own backyard.

"We played fantastic cricket even though the results don't show it. People who saw us playing will certainly appreciate the way we played," said Kumble after India drew the final Test match against Australia in Adelaide on Monday. India lost the series 1-2 and Australia retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Kumble admitted that it was a tough series, which was also marked with some undue controversies, and congratulated Ricky Ponting and his boys' on their success.

"It is always a challenge for me to come to Australia and play. I would also like to congratulate the Indian team for their fantastic efforts shown throughout the series. They played really well. I am really proud the way they played," said Kumble.

Though the series were marred by controversies, including the pending hearing on Harbhajan Singh allegedly hurling racial slur against Andrew Symonds in the Sydney Test, Kumble said the find of the series were 19-year-old Delhi fast bowler Ishant Sharma and Rudra Paratap Singh, who spearheaded the Indian fast bowling in the absence of Zaheer Khan. The Indian captain was also happy with the comeback of Virender Sehwag, who scored 151 on the final day of the Test in Adelaide, and Irfan Pathan.

"The positives of the tournament have been Ishant and Rudra Pratap; in fact, the entire bowling attack. I was also happy with the comeback of Irfan and Veeru (Virender). Sehwag is an integral part of our team. He is handy with both bat and ball. He clipped crucial wickets for us in Perth and today his comeback was fantastic," said Kumble.

The 37-year-old Kumble went on to add that India's records overseas have been improving.

"In Australia's only two losses in Tests in the last four years, it has been us, who defeated them. We can really claim our tag of No 2 and we can be the No 1 team, with the kind of bowling and batting we have. We have a lot of cricket coming up. When you come back from Australia, you come back as a better player, so hope it goes on," he added.

The Indian captain also admitted that series was exhaustive, both mentally and physically.

"The whole week has been mentally tough for me and for the team. So, to win in Perth was special. When there is a crisis, you get together and we did our best and that showed in Perth and Adelaide.

"In Perth there has been a contribution from each and every player. There has been no hundreds or fivers, yet we won," said Kumble.

He was also hopeful that Harbhajan would be cleared in the pending appeal that would be heard here Tuesday.

"We are hoping to get the right result in Harbhajan's case. We are confident the way we put forth our case. We are confident that the result is going to be in our favour," said Kumble.