India v Sri Lanka, Videocon Cup, 1st ODI, Nagpur October 25, 2005

'As captain, you do some things and some days it works'

Rahul Dravid: 'Everything clicked for us today' © Getty Images

Rahul Dravid was delighted after India's crushing win over Sri Lanka in the first one-day international at Nagpur. He was, understandably, relaxed and relieved when he spoke to the media soon after the win.

On the win

It's a good all-round performance and it's good to start the series on a winning note. A good team performance, we did really well in most departments of the game. It's not very often that you win games by such a big margin. Everything clicked for us today. All that we planned worked out to perfection, it doesn't always happen like that.

On the pitch taking turn in the second half

It was turning in the first half also. I had said yesterday that the wicket looked dry and there was hope that the wicket would help the spinners. But it didn't really turn that much -- our bowlers Harbhajan (Singh) and (Murali) Kartik bowled really well. They put the ball in the right areas.

On having Sachin Tendulkar back

It's fantastic to have him back especially when he puts up a performance like he did today. It's not easy to come back after four-and-a-half, five months out of the game. Physically also, it's tough on you. He played a great knock for the team, batted for a long period of time. He suggested that we have Irfan (Pathan) up the order and that worked as well. So it's just great to have him around, not just because of his batting but for his presence on and off the field. He didn't look like he hadn't played for six months.

On the thinking behind promoting Irfan Pathan to No. 3

We just thought we would try and utilise the early overs. We thought that once this ball became old and soft, it will not be that easy to play your shots. Irfan is a good batsman, he has shown that he can play sensibly, not just swing wildly. We wanted some of the middle order guys to take the pressure of their spinners, myself, Yuvraj (Singh), Venu (Venugopal Rao) and (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni. We also thought it would be good to give something dfferent for the Sri Lankans to think about. You have to have a bit of luck with these things and today, I was lucky that it came off.

On Sreesanth's debut

Sreesanth, I thought, bowled well. It's not easy to bowl in these conditions, especially when players like (Sanath) Jayasuriya and (Kumar) Sangakkara are on song. He has a long way to go but he has started well, bowled a few good yorkers. It's not easy on wickets like this but I think there are some good signs early on.

Rahul Dravid: 'Irfan [Pathan] is a bowler who can bat. He made a good 80 today but I don't think people should be jumping around and calling him an allrounder' © Getty Images

On whether Irfan can develop into an allrounder like Andrew Flintoff

Irfan is a bowler who can bat. He made a good 80 today but I don't think people should be jumping around and calling him an allrounder. I don't think he thinks of himself as an allrounder. Flintoff is 28, and has been around a while. Irfan is just 21. He has got a long way to go, who knows where he will end up by the time he is 27-28 if he continues like this. But at the moment, he is a bowler who can bat a bit and let's not get carried away.

On his own batting

Happy with my innings. Haven't been getting runs of late in one-day cricket and was a bit concerned. I had to accept that I had to perform as a batsman as well. The tempo was set by Sachin and Irfan. It was nice to hit the ball well.

On using the power plays when he did

The run rate was running away from us at that stage, it was about 7.5. We thought if we slowed things down a bit, that would help. But we were lucky in that we got two wickets Jayasuriya and Sangakkara, in two overs. That was probably the turning point of the game. As captain, you do some things and some days it works. You just have to accept that.

On whether it was a team decision to open with Tendulkar

Most decisions are team decisions. Individuals are consulted at various times on various issues but decisions will always be taken based on the team's interests and I am glad to have a side where everyone understands this. Today, Venu didn't get to bat and JP was not required to bowl ...

On the team looking like a good unit

When you go out there and everything clicks for you -- you get a good start, your bowlers bowl well and everything works, you look a great unit. When you score 350 and knock the opposition over, you are going to look a good unit. When you are having great success, it is not difficult to look like a good unit. Winning is the key. You also have to realise it is a seven-match series and we have just had a day where everything has worked for us.

India were 2-0 up in the last ODI series against Pakistan and then lost 2-4. Will that be on the minds of the players?

I don't think I need to tell anyone in this team not to get complacent. We know we had a very good game today, but we are up against a very good team, and no one is getting carried away with today's success. It's the first match of a long series.

Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo