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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

I always had faith in my team: Kumble

Kumble feels that the openers have done a splendid job for the side, while spinner Harbhajan Singh and pacer Ishant Sharma also have delivered when it mattered most.

cricket Updated: Aug 03, 2008 19:25 IST


Relieved to have squared the three-match series against Sri Lanka, India captain Anil Kumble on Sunday said he always had faith in the team even after the side was thumped in the first Test.

"I always had faith in my team. It's a great comeback and I'm specially happy because everyone contributed to the cause," an elated Kumble said after India beat Sri Lanka by 170 runs in the second Test to level the three-match series 1-1.

Kumble felt the openers did a splendid job for the side, while spinner Harbhajan Singh and pacer Ishant Sharma also delivered when it mattered most.

"Veeru (Sehwag) and (Gautam) Gambhir gave us fantastic starts, which was crucial. Later Harbhajan and Ishant bowled well to guide us to victory," he said.

The Indian captain, however, still insisted that the team needed to address certain issues in the next match.

"There are a few grey areas, which we need to address. We have to ensure that if put in those conditions, we can come out on a better note," he said.

Kumble also felt there was need to look into certain areas of the referral system once the series is over.

"It's still on trial and I think it needs good look-in. Both the captains would sit with the umpires, match referee and officials at the end of the tour to discuss those issues," he said.

His counterpart Mahela Jayawardene heaped praise on the visitors and said, "It was a really good comeback by India. It was a crucial match for them and they did well.

"It (307) was a big score to chase. We lost three early wickets and the middle order also failed to deliver. But it was a close game," he rued.

Jayawardene was particularly impressed by Ishant and said the youngster proved his mettle on Sunday.

"With the new ball, he did what our bowlers could not do. He showed that it was possible to ask questions to the batsmen," he said.

He was equally effusive in his praise for mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis who completed his first match haul of 10 wickets in only his second Test.

"He is progressing nicely, along side Muralitharan and working very hard to improve. He got 10 wickets in only his second Test, which is an amazing achievement," he said.

Virender Sehwag, who was adjudged Man of the Match for his sizzling double century, said the knock could not have come at a better time.

"The double century came at the right time. We wanted a good start and put enough runs on the board and I'm happy to have done it," he said.

On his penchant for long knocks, Sehwag said, "I enjoy batting even more after scoring century and I enjoy batting longer.

"Besides, if you have flopped in the previous innings, you have to make up for that and that's what I did."

Asked if he ever felt any pressure, Sehwag said, "Not really. I love to play my shots, it does not matter whether I score or not.

"Most importantly, the captain and coach backed me. They told me go out, enjoy and give us a good start. I'm happy I could do that," Sehwag said.