Bowlers made all the difference: Dravid
The skipper said it was 'outstanding' the way the team bounced back after the Test defeat.india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 11:27 IST
Indian skipper Rahul Dravidon Thursdayheaped praise on his young bowling attack for setting up the five-wicket series-clinching win over Pakistan in the fourth ODI at Multan.
"They (Pakistan) have a very good batting line-up. But our bowlers bowled very well and we took some very good catches. It was a determined team effort that fetched us this victory," Dravid said after the win.
"We have some young fast bowlers in R P Singh, Irfan Pathan and Sreesanth along with some experienced ones in Zaheer (Khan) and Ajit (Agarkar)," he said.
Dravid said his young new ball attack would be ready to take up the challenge in the 2007 World Cup.
"It is a young attack and they are learning. They are getting better and I am hopeful that leading to the World Cup they would be better off," the skipper said after wrapping up the one-day series 3-1 here today.
Praising rookie bowler Rudra Pratap for his match winning effort, he said, "R P bowled very well. He had bowled well in the Faisalabad Test too. He's doing well. It's his first year in international cricket and he's learning fast. It's a good sign for us. He will grow from strength to strength."
Dravid said it was outstanding the way the team had responded after the Test defeat and the loss in the first one dayer.
"It was a great series win specially after losing the Test series and the first one-day match. We have played convincingly in the last three matches," he said.
Dravid said coach Greg Chappell and biomechanics expert Ian Frazer had worked hard on the bowlers after the Test series which India lost 0-1.
"Greg and Ian have been working hard on the bowlers after the Test series. They have set goals for each of them and the boys have responded well. They have set up the victory for us, as in these conditions the team that bowls well will win," he said.
"We dropped a few catches in the last game (at Lahore). We were determined we should make an improvement in this department. We bowled and caught well and played good cricket to dismiss Pakistan cheaply," Dravid, whose 59 was the top-score in the match, said.
He said that victory over Pakistan in Pakistan was a great feeling.
"We are very happy that we have beaten Pakistan in the one-day series. It's a great feeling. But I am even more satisfied with the way the youngsters have gained confidence and performed," he said.
Asked about why he chose to chase the target, Dravid said the team had done well while batting second.
He said the team members would carry happy memories of this ground where India won a Test for the first time in 2004 on way to clinching the series.
"We would always carry happy memories of this ground. We won the first Test here in 2004 and we are happy to win the one-day series here," he said.
He refused to comment on whether the absence of Shoaib Akhtar helped India but pointed out that India too missed the services of key members Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh.
"I don't want to comment on individual players. I don't think the absence of one or two players makes a difference. We are also without Sehwag and Harbhajan," he said.
Dravid expressed keenness to finish the series with a 4-1 margin at Karachi.
"We would like to win the Karachi game. Each game is important to us which gives us an opportunity to develop as a team. We hope people will show some patience and give us some breathing space to allow us to continue the development".
Asked about what changes would be made for the Karachi game, Dravid said his squad had only 14 players now and there were no batsmen in the reserves.
"We will decide whether to give rest to some bowlers after we reach there."
R P Singh said he concentrated on line and length bowling and cherished the wicket of Shoaib Malik the most.
"I enjoyed taking the wicket of Shoaib Malik the most as he's the man in form," he said.
First Published: Feb 17, 2006 11:27 IST