The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Experience of Sourav, Laxman made a difference: Dravid
- We messed it up... The Indians were more hungry: Smith

Johannesburg: Having predicted (in his column) that Team India should “wrap it up” by lunch or later, on Monday, Sunil Gavaskar paced a trifle ‘anxiously’ when Ashwell Prince and Shaun Pollock were in a recovery act, somewhat frustrating the Sreesanths.

“I hope that’s how this Test ends,” the former India captain told The Telegraph as he helped himself to tea. He needn’t have worried too much, for Anil Kumble induced Pollock to play across the line one more time and that proved fatal. Thereafter, it was only a matter of time.

After the Test, both captains interacted with the Media. Here’s what they had to offer:

RAHUL DRAVID: It’s a special moment for this group... This turnaround (after the ODIs) hasn’t surprised me as we’d done the same in the West Indies earlier this year... Our win in Potchefstroom laid the platform... It gave us confidence... I’ve always maintained this is a team sport... It’s the team which does business... Which goes and performs... The experience of Sourav Ganguly and (V.V.S.) Laxman made a difference... It was nice having players who’ve experienced it (tough conditions) before... We’ve got a very good seam attack and I remember saying this in the West Indies as well... I’d said there were kids with potential... This was Sree’s (Sreesanth’s) sixth Test and VRV (Singh) played his third... The South Africans had the more experienced attack... This morning, I didn’t have to tell the boys anything... It’s the senior group which kept reminding that we had a job to do (quickly)... We focus on our strengths... We aren’t big built like some other teams, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be competitive... We don’t have bowlers who can consistently bowl at 150 ks, but we’ve got bowlers who’re disciplined... Sree is quite a character and every team needs one... But he has got to be careful as Match Referees are around! It’s obvious that the South Africans will hit back hard, but we’re going to Durban (on Wednesday) with confidence...

GRAEME SMITH: We’ve got to take pain from this defeat and be honest in admitting we messed it up... The Indians were more hungry... We got the highest total of the Test in the fourth innings, but that didn’t help... We gave away far too many runs in the first innings and the last-wicket partnership (44 between Sourav and VRV) made a difference... We knew Sourav wouldn’t be a soft target, for he’d made a comeback after ten months and would draw on his experience... We’re very disappointed as we let ourselves down... Full credit to India, but I wouldn’t say we were complacent... It wasn’t the easiest wicket, but I’m not offering an excuse... Application and more grafting was called for... Sreesanth bowled in the best areas and swung the ball from a straight line... He has lots of energy, too... That (Dale) Steyn couldn’t bowl from late on the first day cost us... We’ll be meeting early in Durban and the coach (Mickey Arthur) has plans...

Email This Page