We must keep the momentum going | india | Hindustan Times
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We must keep the momentum going

To say that we pulled off a huge victory on Saturday would probably be understating the obvious. A match against Pakistan is always a big deal, one which you can't really treat as just another game of cricket. To have won that as convincingly as we did was great.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2003 15:33 IST

To say that we pulled off a huge victory on Saturday would probably be understating the obvious.

A match against Pakistan is always a big deal, one which you can't really treat as just another game of cricket.

To have won that as convincingly as we did was great. And the reaction of the crowd here — the huge smiles and spontaneous celebrations at Centurion — was a fair indication of what was happening back home in India.

The atmosphere at the ground was absolutely electrifying.

The tricolour was aflutter all around and with Indian fans outnumbering their Pakistani counterparts, the Supersport Park was a good place to be in.

The pitch, too, was one of the best I have ever played on.

Waqar won the toss and rightly elected to bat. I would have done the same.

Unlike in the earlier matches, our bowlers didn’t perform to potential.

Perhaps the pressure of playing Pakistan got to them. Remember, not many had experienced this before.

All said and done, 273 was a big total considering the Pakistan bowling attack. But I must say I was I was surprised at Saqlain Mushtaq being dropped.

As far as we are concerned, we try and chalk out a plan before every innings. On Saturday, the idea was to get as many runs as possible in the first 15. But I must confess, 120 exceeded our expectations.

Sachin batted superbly. Seriously, I think words cannot express how awesome his batting was on that day. Virender Sehwag, too, began with a bang and we were off to a flying start.

I am glad that the decision to promote Kaif clicked. He is a quality player, and most important, one who can rotate the strike.

With Sachin, he gave the innings some much-needed stability after two quick dismissals.

Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh too played their parts to perfection. Rahul was supposed to drop anchor while Yuvraj would try and attack the bowling.

Whatever his detractors say, Yuvi is maturing into a fine cricketer. He is focused and his body language tells me that he will do even better in this competition.

It’s over to the Super Six stage now and we will have to play at our best to reach the semi-finals. We have got the momentum going and must ensure that there is no slip-up.

After all, we are here to represent India and we know that it is our responsibility to put a smile on the faces of zillions of our fans back home.