| Sourav: ‘Bowlers did the job’
Wellington: Having managed the first victory in the nightmarish New Zealand tour Wednesday, captain Sourav Ganguly said his top order needs to work on “some areas” to score on seamer-friendly tracks.
“Although we played well today, there are some areas in our batting that we need to work on,” Sourav said.
The captain, who was himself out for a duck, opined that the bowling was the key to his team’s morale-boosting win.
“Bowling first was the key. The ball did a bit in the first hour and we could put them under pressure,” he said.
He added that India should have restricted the hosts to a smaller total after leaving them tottering at three for three at one stage. “We should have restricted them. Brendon McCullum and Andre Adams played well. But 160 was chaseable batting second”.
Sourav singled out Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan for special praise saying they had delivered when the team needed it. “Yuvraj is a great talent and has started delivering. Batting at number six is not easy. “It’s also good to see Zaheer score runs under pressure. He is a great asset to the side,” he said.
Zaheer, who followed up his three for 30 with a match-winning 34, paid tribute to the fine innings by Yuvraj and some good advice from Srinath towards the end.
“He told me we were in no hurry and not to do anything silly,” said Zaheer. “We just pushed for singles and got a four, which took the pressure off, but it was certainly nice to hit that winning run.”
“Everyone is very happy in the dressing room we have finally won a match on this tour,” Zaheer added. “We’ve been trying very hard but not been able to deliver. We thought it was just a matter of time and with two matches to go we feel it will be a huge boost if we can beat them twice more.”
Zaheer was the chief destroyer, removing Nathan Astle and Mathew Sinclair off successive balls for ducks in his first over, then sending back Chris Harris leg-before in his next.
“I enjoyed bowling on that track,” Zaheer, named MoM, said. “The ball was doing a lot and it certainly helped me.”
The New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming felt they were a few runs short. “We had the chance to get to 200 but the partnership between McCullum and Adams ended at a wrong time for us. We didn’t deserve to win today.
“Batting first was not wise... then with the bowling we conceded too many extras. Twenty-three extras could have been the difference between winning and losing, so there are a couple of disciplines we need to address.”