Dravid disappointed with bad-light finish
"It was an unfortunate way to lose the match. But rules are rules and they are part of the game," said the skipper.india Updated: Feb 07, 2006 15:07 IST
Indian captain Rahul Dravid said it was unfortunate to lose a match which could have gone either way after Pakistan stole a win on the basis of Duckworth/Lewis system in the first ODI at Peshawar.
"It was an unfortunate way to lose the match. But rules are rules and they are part of the game. The match was heading towards an exciting finish when it had to be called off," Dravid said at the post-match press conference.
Play was stopped because of poor light after the 47th over with Pakistan, chasing India's imposing 328, were 311 for 7. The hosts were declared winners by seven runs.
Dravid said he knew Pakistan were ahead by D/L method when they were chasing the target in poor light conditions.
"I knew they were ahead," said the Indian captain who also added that the light was indeed poor.
"We were asked to use slow bowlers towards the end by the umpires but the light worsened later," he said.
Dravid felt the Indians did not score enough runs in the last ten overs especially after the start provided by Sachin Tendulkar, who announced his return to form with a 100, Irfan Pathan and Mahendra Dhoni, both of whom cracked quickfire half centuries.
"We should have got more runs in the last ten overs after the start we got. Unfortunately a few leg before dismissals happened to us and there were some great catches taken too by the Pakistan fielders."
Praising Tendulkar's innings, Dravid said it was a great sign for the team in its battles ahead in this series as well as in future.
"He played a great knock. If he bats for 100-120 balls he ends up making a hundred. It was good to see him back in form. It's a good sign for us," the Indian captain said.
Dravid also defended the move to promote Pathan and Dhoni ahead of himself and said had Tendulkar got out early, he would himself have come out to bat.
"The plan was to mix the consolidators with the power-hitters who were there till the 42nd or 43rd overs. It was a calculated move. I would have come out to bat early had Sachin got out," he said.
Dravid also said it was a deliberate strategy to use Pathan for ten overs at a stretch when Pakistan chased the stiff target.
"Irfan was bowling well. He had nice rhythm and I thought it would be best to use his entire quota before the power play ended. We had other bowlers too to take care of the latter part," he said.
Dravid said it was for the umpires to decide whether Inzamam-ul-Haq was out or not when the 'obstructing the field' appeal was made successfully against the Pakistani captain by the Indians.
"We appeal for caught behinds, lbws and run-outs too. It's up to the umpires to give the decision," he said when asked whether it was right on the part of the Indians to appeal against Inzamam when he put out his bat to stop a throw from mid-off fielder Suresh Raina even though he was outside the crease.
Dravid defended his bowlers while admitting at the same time they could have done better on the flat track.
"We could have bowled better on the flat track, but at the same time we have to say that the outfield was pretty fast and there was hardly any distance between the rope and the advertisement hoardings (for the fielders to make a lunge at the ball before it crossed the boundary line)," he said.