Younis did a great job: Woolmer

The Pakistan coach praised Younis Khan's leadership skills in the absence of Inzamam.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 12:42 IST

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer was all praise for his bowlers on Thursday, saying they wrecked India's renowned batting might in two sessions to secure a series win.

"Bowlers did a great job and I am pleasantly surprised at the capitulation of India's strong batting line-up," Woolmer said a day after Pakistan thrashed India by 341 runs to clinch the three-Test series 1-0.

Young seamer Mohammad Asif initiated made the initial inroads and finished with figures of 3-48. All-rounder Abdul Razzaq then demolished the middle order grabbing four wickets as India, chasing an improbable 607 to win, were bowled out for 265.

"Asif hit the deck hard and his deliveries which bowled (Virender) Sehwag and (Venkatsai) Laxman were simply unplayable. Don't forget both are great batsmen," said Woolmer.

The Pakistan coach said Razzaq had shown he was an all-rounder of class.

"After we lost captain Inzamam-ul Haq through injury, we had to select Razzaq and it proved an inspired selection in the way he bowled and batted. He simply proved his critics wrong."

The win was even more significant after Pakistan lost Inzamam with a back injury and had a disastrous start after being put in by Indian captain Rahul Dravid on a lively green pitch.

Pakistan were left reeling at 0-3 after Indian paceman Irfan Pathan grabbed a hat trick in the first over of the match and were then reduced to 39-6. The home team however led a remarkable recovery through centurion Kamran Akmal and Razzaq.

"Incredible fightback," said Woolmer. "Missing the captain, losing the toss and struggling from the first over did not deter the team because we showed character and the strength of resilience."

Woolmer praised Younis Khan's leadership skills.

"I think Younis did a great job, communicating with me, Inzamam and each and every player. Inzamam was there at the ground all four days to support the players. It was great team spirit."

The series win, the first over arch rivals India since 1987, followed Pakistan's home series win against Ashes-winning England a month ago.

Woolmer believes the win over India was "special" as it pleased the Pakistan public more.

"Pakistan public made me more conscious that winning against India was more special. I have realised how passionate the public and players are about a win over India," said Woolmer who took over as coach after Pakistan lost to India in 2004.

Woolmer praised the Karachi crowd saying he would suggest to the Pakistan Cricket Board to hold regular matches in Karachi.

"There were no problems of security and the crowd was simply the best in Karachi," said Woolmer about the city where teams had shown reluctance to play because of security fears.

Woolmer hoped Pakistan would carry the momentum from the Test victory through to the five-match one-day series which starts in Peshawar on February 6.

The other matches are scheduled for Rawalpindi (Feb 11), Lahore (Feb 13), Multan (Feb 16) and Karachi (Feb 19).

First Published: Feb 03, 2006 12:42 IST