Rahul Dravid has defended his decision to bat first, saying the batsmen's failure led to India's six-wicket loss against Pakistan in the first one-dayer at Abu Dhabi.
"It was the right decision but the batsmen probably could have done better," Dravid said in the post-match press conference. "It was a fresh wicket and by what we heard we needed to make first use of the pitch and get runs on the board."
India were all out for 197 before Pakistan romped home to victory with nine balls to spare. Dravid said the team fell 30 runs short of setting a challenging total. "We fell short by 30 runs and lost wickets in the beginning and that was the reason for the loss," he said. Dravid also said the four run outs wrecked India's innings. "Yes they (run outs) were disappointing and were critical ones."
But Dravid gave credit where due. "All the bowlers bowled well. The pitch was slow and ball was not coming on to the bat. The boys are not used to these sort of surfaces so it was a good learning experience for them. We will try to play better in the next match. It is tough at the end of the season but we are happy to come here and play for a cause."
His counterpart, Inzamam-ul-Haq, said that it was a much needed victory for Pakistan, adding that their fielding was showing signs of improvement. He praised Younis Khan for playing a pivotal role in the win: "His (Younis Khan) innings was very important and he saw to it that he stayed till the end. Our fielding was vary bad during the India series and we have been working hard on it. Our efforts paid off today."
An understandably elated Younis said that chasing was difficult with the ball moving and seaming around. "There was seam and swing in the pitch so I thought I would be positive and play some shots to counter that."