On a personal note, it’s been a special series settling into being India captain, writes Anil Kumble
When I look back at this final Test and the series gone by, I’m looking at something special, from a professional and personal perspective.
Knowing that we’ve beaten Pakistan in a Test series here after 27 years is very encouraging. I also know it could have been 2-0 and that would’ve been nicer, but a series win is a series win, especially ahead of an all-important tour like Australia. Plus, I think we pretty much dominated the series.
One problem perhaps, was that the surfaces we played on were very slow. We’ve generally had a result in Kolkata and Bangalore, so this time, possibly the weather, the onset of winter, the change of surface in Bangalore, they all played a part. Still, we almost got a result in Bangalore and would have if the weather had not intervened.
There’s been some criticism of the timing of the declaration, but, as people always say, hindsight can be a wonderful thing. If you knew in advance that the clouds would cover the stadium and there would be bad light, things might have been planned differently. Also, the way the wicket and the wickets crumbled on day five was something. In addition to that, there have been some other special moments. The partnership between Dhoni and Laxman in the first innings at Delhi; the quick five wickets late on day three at the Kotla; Wasim’s brilliant double hundred in Kolkata, so assured that you felt like he was batting at nets; obviously, Yuvraj and Sourav’s knocks in Bangalore.
All in all, though it has been an enjoyable experience, there really hasn’t been enough time to take it all in. In two days, we leave for Australia and a very tough, long tour. It’s getting tougher in international cricket because of the workload, especially on bowlers and it is a concern we need to seriously address.
See the way international cricket is paced now: There is only three days between games, of which one is spent travelling, one practising and just one resting, you really don’t have enough time to celebrate the moment, nor brood over what you’ve lost.
At the same time, we need to iron out some things. At times, we were unlucky, at other times, there were opportunities we should have grasped — like when Pakistan was eight down in Delhi and five down for 150 in Kolkata. They will all go down as missed opportunities and, against the Australians, we can’t afford to miss any chances.
While the onus is obviously on me because of my experience and it’s vital that I contribute as a player and as a captain, against Australia, we will need to do the kind of things we did here — when different people stood up and contributed through the series.
Like how Ishant, only yet a teenager, picked up a fiver in his first Test in India. Or how Sourav, vastly more experienced, continued the form of his life.
On a final, personal note, it’s been a special series settling into being India captain. Initially, it was a bit tough to take all what an Indian captain needs to do but it was interesting.
Later, that final day in Bangalore was somewhat chaotic — interacting with the media, trying to focus on the game, knowing the selection was happening and thinking of the next tour and the timing of the declaration, managing assorted things. Now though, it’s more peaceful. I’m getting the hang of things and looking forward to whatever lies ahead.
— Hawkeye/Chivach Sport