| Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly cherish India’s victory in Multan on Thursday. (PTI)
Multan: Cool as ever, stand-in captain Rahul Dravid answered a volley of questions at an interaction with the Media (including The Telegraph) around 45 minutes after Team India authored history at the Multan Cricket Stadium.
The following are excerpts
On the unprecedented win
It’s the team’s victory... It’s a special achievement because we’d won Tests everywhere except South Africa and Pakistan...
On plans for celebrating
(Laughs) We’ve got quite a few young players... They’ll decide what’s to be done when we reach Lahore at night (courtesy a rerouted Multan-Karachi PIA flight).
On what the success here holds for the remaining two Tests
It doesn’t guarantee us a win (in the series)... Lots of cricket remains and we won’t take anything for granted. Of course, our feet will be on the ground.
On what makes this team different from the earlier ones
A combination of factors... The talent and quality of the players, the emergence of a better cricket structure in the country, a professional set-up in the team... Credit shouldn’t only go to the playing XI. Equally, if there’s a loss, the XI alone shouldn’t get the blame...
On where Thursday’s victory figures among the recent wins overseas
I wouldn’t like comparisons to be made... Don’t like rating... But, yes, it’s going to remain special for a number of reasons.
On whether the toss made a significant difference
In my opinion, it wasn’t crucial... The wicket stayed good till the end.
On the wicket having come in for much criticism
Look, wickets everywhere are unique and no two tracks may be the same... Given that a result was produced in two overs on the final morning, nobody should complain.
On the No. 1 turning point
That’s a difficult one... Perhaps, Inzy’s (Inzamam-ul Haq’s) run out on the fourth afternoon... Just goes to show how small things can leave a huge impact.
On not getting the last wicket on the fourth evening itself, despite availing of the extra half-hour
Yusuf (Youhana) batted exceedingly well but, yes, we ought to have done better in the last 40 minutes or so... We set that right this (fifth) morning.
On having declared with Sachin Tendulkar on 194
It’s been talked about by the individuals concerned and isn’t an issue... There are no differences within the team.
On whether Sachin’s experience was utilised in the dressing-room
Absolutely... He’s the only one to have played a Test (in Pakistan) before and suggestions were taken.
On Virender Sehwag’s 309, the highest by an Indian
I was privileged to watch his innings...
On the bowlers’ performance
Fantastic... To get 20 wickets on a flat surface has to be fantastic. Anil (Kumble) got the most wickets and is going to get appreciated, but Irfan Pathan and even Lakshmipathy Balaji were outstanding. Then, the part-timers chipped in superbly.
On the team missing Sourav Ganguly here and the fact that he (and Zaheer Khan) won’t be playing in the second Test
Experience can’t be replaced, yet Yuvraj Singh did a commendable job coming in for Sourav... Teams learn to adjust and cope with situations.
On the possibility of a greentop in Lahore
We’ll be ready... In the past couple of years, in particular, we’ve done well even in conditions where the (fast) bowlers found encouragement.
Finally, on having captained in two Tests now
(Smiles) It’s too early to say something specific... A captain, though, is as good as his team... The quality of the players makes the difference.