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India v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Delhi

'All credit to the bowlers for taking 20 wickets' - Dravid

Anand Vasu in Delhi

December 14, 2005

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Rahul Dravid congratulated his bowlers - led by Anil Kumble - for taking 20 wickets on a good surface © Getty Images
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Rahul Dravid, unusually aggressive when answering prickly or irritating questions at the post-match press conference after India beat Sri Lanka by 188 runs in the second Test at Delhi, laughed off suggestions that the Kotla was a lucky venue. Meanwhile Tom Moody found plenty of positives to take from the defeat, and Marvan Atapattu pin-pointed the first-innings collapse as the reason for his team's defeat. Excerpts:

Rahul Dravid

On whether Delhi is a lucky ground

I don't think it is fair to call it a lucky ground. We are playing good cricket, and I am proud that we fought hard for this victory. This wasn't a win that came easy or was totally one-sided. It was a hard-working win in a game of ups and downs, and all credit to the bowlers for taking 20 wickets on a reasonably good surface.

On prospects at Ahmedabad

Sri Lanka are a good side, and to beat them again, we will have to play well for five days in Ahmedabad too. We were very disappointed with our batting in Chennai, and even here in the first innings, we frittered a good position away on the second morning. But I am glad that in the second innings, we showed application. We have to do that every game, every innings. When you are up against quality bowlers like [Chaminda] Vaas and [Muttiah] Muralitharan, you can't think of the previous innings. You begin every innings on zero and we need to bat with the same determination and concentration next time too.

On whether he was able to declare when he did because he was comfortable with the lead or because he needed time to bowl out Sri Lanka

A bit of both. I was very comfortable with the fact that I had Anil [Kumble] and Harbhajan [Singh] in the side. They are two great spinners to have in the fourth innings of a Test match.

On the selection dilemma caused by Yuvraj's knock

It's a happy problem to have, if it is a problem at all. It's unfortunate that someone is going to miss out [with the return of Sehwag], and it will probably not be right on him, but that's how international cricket is. It just shows us also that we can call on different players to do the job at different times, and it gives us a lot of heart.

Tom Moody

We have many positives coming out of this game. We let ourselves down in two small periods of the game. Late on the second evening, we lost numerous wickets from a commanding position in 45 minutes of madness. Then last evening, when we lost four wickets inside the last half hour, that's when we sort of finally lost it. With more wickets in hand, we could have played out time, if not had a go at the target.



'Murali is a wonderful bowler, but we can't rely on him getting wickets every time' - Tom Moody © Getty Images
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On Indians negating Muralitharan in the second innings

The first hurdle we tripped at was not capitalising on our start in the first innings. We should have had a lead of at least 100 on the first innings. Murali is a wonderful bowler, but we can't rely on him getting wickets every time. He tried everything he could, gave it his all but they played him very well. There is nothing to say he didn't give hundred percent.

On his team's batting collapse

We weren't the only side that collapsed. It was a good wicket, no doubt, but it was always going to be tough for the new batsmen coming in. It was the downfall for us in both innings, just as it was India's downfall in the first innings, when they lost seven for 45 on the second morning.

Marvan Atapattu

On the turning point in the match

The two sessions where we lost lots of wickets were towards the close of the day's play. That's where we need to concentrate better. I won't be too critical about shot selection, it is more to do with lapses in concentration.

On the pitch

The pitch was not unplayable. But it was slow and strokemaking was not that easy. It called for patience and concentration. That's why India did a lot better in the second innings than the first.

On the batting collapse in the first innings

Batting collapses do happen. We dominated for most of the second day until the last session, but lost the grip from then on. From there, it was a long haul.

On Murali coming to bat with a runner

He had a slight thigh strain, nothing serious. He should be okay for the third Test.

Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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