Kumble defends late declaration

Anil Kumble does not feel he was late to declare the 2nd innings, even though some believe it denied the hosts a win in the drawn 3rd Test against Pak.

updated: December 14, 2007 15:01 IST
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Indian captain Anil Kumble does not feel he was late to declare the second innings, even though some believe it denied the hosts a win in the drawn third cricket Test against Pakistan.

India declared their second innings in the post-lunch session, setting Pakistan an improbable target of 374 in 48 overs.

Though they managed to scalp seven wickets, the hosts were eventually stranded three wickets away from a win.

"I think we gave ourselves a good opportunity. It was important for us to ensure that we get the score which we are absolutely sure about winning the series," Kumble said after leading India to their first home Test series win against the arch-rivals in 28 years.

The veteran leggie felt India could have scalped the remaining three wickets had it not been for bad light that dropped early curtain on the proceedings.

"We had a great opportunity and if the weather had held up, we would have finished off the game. I think 45 overs was enough (to bowl Pakistan out)."

Asked if play could have continues in the light, Kumble said, "Light was pretty bad when they stopped play. And it kept on deteriorating.

"If I was in the Pakistan team, I would say it was bad light and if I'm part of the Indian team I would say it was good light.

So it's something, which you cannot really comment about. We have to go by the umpires' decision."

Kumble was elated having led India to victory in his first Test series as captain and said, "Whenever you win a Test series, whether it's away or at home, it's a great feeling. And to have achieved that against Pakistan is a great feeling."

The Indian captain also doffed his hat at the opponents for their fighting spirit and dismissed suggestions that Pakistan were not competitive in the series.

"I don't think so. If that was the case, it would have been 3-0 for us in this series.

"They did bounce back in Kolkata when the chips were down. They were 150 for five and then Misbah and Kamran added those runs and ensured safety," he said.

"Even in the first innings here Misbah and Kamran added those crucial runs. Younis also got those important runs. So we cannot say that this team is different from the ones that visited in the past," said Kumble.

While Pakistan had a depleted attack, India too struggled with injury woes with S Sreesanth, RP Singh, Zaheer Khan, MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar missing action at some point in the series.

"We really had to stand up and be counted. We lost two crucial bowlers and then two critical batsmen. So it was important for us to go out there and prove a point.

"I thought Sourav (Ganguly) and Yuvraj (Singh) in the first innings batted brilliantly to take us to safety and ensured that we got those runs," Kumble said.

Asked how would rate himself as a captain, Kumble said, "I don't know. It's very difficult to evaluate oneself. I think it's for others to judge.

"For me it's important to go out there and ensure that we win the series and get the right result. In my own way I think I have done that," he said.

"Yes there might be people who say we should have declared earlier and we should not have declared. That's all ifs and buts and if we had known that the weather would be like this for the last one hour things would have been different," he added.