?This is our best pace attack in a decade?
There is a lot of negativism in Indian cricket and I hope this win helps overcome that, said the Indian skipper after beating WI in the 4th Test.india Updated: Jul 04, 2006 16:59 IST
Rahul Dravid came to the post-match press conference long after the fourth Test got over on Sunday. No one complained as everybody knew that the celebrations after winning in a country where one had not in 35 years would take longer than usual.
When the captain finally turned up, the question and answer session went on for longer than usual. Here are the excerpts:
How important is this win for India?
It's good for the players. There is a lot of negativism in Indian cricket and I hope this win helps overcome that. Our players get criticised very often. Some of it is fair and a lot of it is not. What we often forget is that our players deserve a lot of credit for what they do too. This is a huge moment for them. How bad was the pitch?
It was bad on Day 1 and kept getting worse. It was not the kind of wicket where you could play your shots even after getting your eye in. Like you saw with Ramnaresh Sarwan - he struggled even after scoring 40-50 runs.
How satisfying were your own knocks?
Very. It's probably because they are still fresh in my mind that I am saying this, but I think these are probably two of the best I have played. They gave me a lot of satisfaction. You needed a bit of luck, you were going to get beaten a few times. One of the keys on this wicket was to get fully forward or fully back. It was about playing late and with soft hands. You had to be patient, trust yourself and trust your defence.
Purely on a personal front, how big is this win?
I have played international cricket for more than 10 years now and it is the first win outside the subcontinent (barring Zimbabwe). The happiness is much more than anything else. There are many in our team who have played abroad many times, but didn't win. It's big for all of us. It's special for me too, because I will probably never play a Test series in the West Indies again. It's good to have won here on my third trip.
How crucial was the role of the fast bowlers?
I saw Srinath and Prasad bowl brilliantly throughout the series in England in 1996. After 10 years I have seen another pair of fast bowlers being so consistent. I had seen some good spells, but the way Munaf and Sreesanth performed was brilliant. To see these inexperienced bowlers do the job was most heartening because it's important to have young fast bowlers. With Ajit (Agarkar) and Zak (Zaheer Khan) also around, it's good to have this pool of fast bowlers.
Does it mean you will stick to four bowlers?
Nothing is written into stone. If we had an allrounder, I would definitely go in with three mediumpacers and two spinners. But we don't have that composition at the moment. MS Dhoni and Irfan Pathan have played some good knocks in familiar conditions but they are still pretty young to be considered as allrounders or be classified as frontline batsmen. It's too early to use them as batsmen while playing abroad. I will use five bowlers only if I get the ideal opportunity.