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Beating Pak a special moment: Ganguly

"India-Pakistan matches are always great encounters. It (the significance of the win) will take a few days to sink in," the Indian captain said.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Rawalpindi
UPDATED ON APR 16, 2004 04:13 PM IST

After popping the champagne to celebrate the historic win over Pakistan, captain Sourav Ganguly on Friday defined it as a "special moment".

"It is a special moment. We are elated, very happy," said an excited Ganguly after India's innings and 131-run defeat of Pakistan in the third and final Test at the Pindi Stadium on Friday.

It meant India won the three-Test series 2-1, their first ever series win in Pakistan and first away from home in 11 years.

"We have been doing well for the past two years and finally won a series. We have come close on a few occasions, like in Australia but to beat Pakistan in Pakistan feels really great."

"India-Pakistan matches are always great encounters. It (the significance of the win) will take a few days to sink in."

Asked what kind of reception he expected from fans back home, Ganguly said, "I don't know. I think people must be quite happy (with the victory)."

Leg spinner Anil Kumble, who made a brilliant comeback from injury to set up India's win in the first Test in Multan, said the Indians had "learnt to win now".

"Lot of things will improve. We have learnt to win now and the series win will give us a lot of confidence."

"It's a great feeling. I have been part of the team for the last 15 years and only win was in Lanka (in 1993-94)."

"So it feels fantastic to win the Test and one-day series in Pakistan."

Kumble said the team did not have enough time to celebrate their good performance in the Test series Down Under early this season due to the cramped schedule.

"This win is something really special," he said.

"Everybody has put his hands up. It was a great team effort.

"Rahul (Dravid) played a fantastic knock. Balaji, Pathan, Nehra and Pathiv, all did their bit."

Virender Sehwag, who was declared the man of the series for his 309 in the first Test and a fighting 80 in the Lahore Test, said more than his personal record he was happier to be part of the team that created history on Pakistan soil.

"I am happy to score 309 but the series win makes me more glad," said the 24-year-old opener.

He said Indians had come to Pakistan "mentally prepared" for the high-profile series after a successful outing in Australia.

"Australian tour gave us a lot of confidence. Our success there added to our confidence that we can make big scores in any part of the world.

"We had come to the series fully prepared, both mentally and physically. We just kept on our focus on the game," he said.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq blamed injuries to players as one of the main reasons for his side's loss.

"We could have played better in this Test match. One-dayers were keenly contested but in Test series we were affected by injuries," he said.

"Wickets were also a bit difficult early on but Indians played well in all the departments."

He said he was impressed with the performance of a few youngsters during the series.

"Umar Gul and Asim Kamal showed that they have the fighting qualities. They came up with some improved performance. But our top-order did not play with responsibility."

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