Fitness, not dew, was the factor: Dravid | india | Hindustan Times
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Fitness, not dew, was the factor: Dravid

"We have taken some step forward but there is a long way to go. We will try and keep improving," said the Indian skipper.

india Updated: Nov 29, 2005 11:34 IST

Captain Rahul Dravidsaid fitness and not dew played a crucial role in India's five-wicket victory over South Africa in the fifth and final one-day international here on Monday.

"It says a lot about our fitness, playing 11 matches in a short time and winning eight of them. Not to mention the travelling. It (the win) is a tribute to the boys," Dravid said as India levelled the five-match series at the Wankhede Stadium.

"We have taken some step forward but there is a long way to go. We will try and keep improving."

India had trounced Sri Lanka 6-1 before the series against South Africa.

The hosts will take on the Lankans in three Tests, starting with the first in Chennai on Dec 2.

Dravid was surprised that dew, which had been a major factor in the previous three games, did not play a role in the proceedings today.

"Toss was important but it did not make that much of a difference because there was no dew at all," he said.

"Yesterday I had come here at 8'O clock and saw there was lot of dew, but today there was no dew. It was nice to field first and know the target to chase."

The Indian skipper heaped praise on spinners in general and Harbhajan Singh in particular.

The offie returned with 3-22 and also took a brilliant low catch in the deep dismiss Mark Boucher.

"The spinners bowled beautifully, and Harbhajan Singh especially has comeback extremely well in both the series."

"To give away 3.5 runs and take wickets was a grand effort. He applied pressure in the middle overs," Dravid said.

The captain said the team had not thought about the Tests against Sri Lanka yet.

"We are pretty tired now. Anyway there is not much time to think, we have to reassemble on Dec 30 (in Chennai).

"Sri Lanka are a very good team, it will be a tough series."

On Virender Sehwag, he said, "he batted very well today.

Asked about Sachin Tendulkar's form, Dravid said, "he looked good today. I am sure he will fire in the Tests, there is nothing to worry."

On his own match-winning half century, he said, "very happy to get this knock under pressure after not doing well in first three games."

Yuvraj Singh, who shared the man-of-the-series award with visiting captain Graeme Smith, said, "every series cannot be a good one. I have been batting well from the time I scored 79 against Sri Lanka (in Rajkot)".

"Very happy to get a century and a half-century in pressure situations."

Jacques Kallis, whose 91 was the cornerstone of South African innings, said the team fell about 20 runs short. "240 would have been difficult target to chase," he said.

"It has always been easier to bat second in the day-night matches of this series."

"India batted well to win the match. We had three or four half chances, we didn't take advantage of it."