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Wisden Cricinfo staff
July 17, 2004
India's batsmen discovered that it wasn't simply a matter of turning up and tonking the ball about the place against UAE. Only a classy century from Rahul Dravid took India to 260, what ended up being a winning score by some margin. The players talk about the game that was.
On India's start in the Asia Cup
We were a bit rusty to start with but we managed to put up a good score in the end. I thought 260 was a good score on this wicket.
On why the bowlers gave away so many extras
I thought the bowlers were trying a few things, trying to pick up wickets with attacking fields, which was one of the reasons [for the high number of extras]. Obviously when you play against a better side you will be more disciplined.
On which departments India need to improve in
We need to get better in all three aspects because this is our first game after three months and I hope we get better in our game against Sri Lanka.
On the pitch
I thought it was a good wicket: it has something for the bowlers, it spun a bit, and if the batsmen could get in they could make a good score - it was a good cricket wicket.
On whether Lasith Malinga will be a handful with his unusual action
We saw him bowling in Australia and I don't think it is that awkward. He is a bit of a slinger but I don't think it is too bad.
On his team's performance
We were very happy when we got Sehwag in the very first over. It should have been much better if we had got Ganguly off his second ball. Basically, I thought we performed very well with our bowling but with the batting we need some serious practice.
On his innings
Nice to start the season well with a hundred. I missed out in Pakistan so it was nice to get one [a hundred] here. You had to run a lot of twos and threes as it was a huge ground so I was getting quite tired by the end. That was the plan from the start as I knew boundaries would be hard.
Syed Abid Ali - UAE coach
On the experience
It is the boys' first exposure to international arena and they did extremely well in bowling and fielding. They restrained an Indian team that has been doing so well. We faced the strongest possible team in the subcontinent and have done pretty good. There are certain things that we have to work upon and we will, inshallah, work on them and grow as a team.
On whether UAE have the ingredients to become a useful international side
I think we have. We have some balanced combinations and some good cricketers. Young and old cricketers gelling together. Hopefully we will do well in the ICC Trophy and we will then be there in the World Cup and be able to show the world what kind of cricket we can play.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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