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Bangalore Test success will lift Pakistan's cricket, says coach
by AFP


Ground:M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
Scorecard:India v Pakistan
Player:Younis Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq
Event:Pakistan in India 2004/05

DateLine: 31st March 2005

 

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said his team's comprehensive win in the third and final Test against India will propel the side to new heights.

 

"This fantastic win will lift the team like nothing else can," Woolmer told AFP Tuesday after Pakistan defeated India by 168 runs just before close on the fifth and final day on Monday to level the three-match series 1-1.

 

"I am convinced the team will come of age on this tour. Bangalore has provided the spark and we must cash in on it," the 56-year-old Englishman said.

 

Pakistan, who set India a challenging 383-run target, dismissed the hosts for 214 in their second innings to avenge their 195-run loss in the second Test at Calcutta.

 

The opening Test at Mohali ended in a draw, denying India a home series win against Pakistan for the fourth time since 1979.

 

"We played some serious cricket. We saved the first Test through hard work and could have won at Calcutta had we not lost our way on the third day," said Woolmer, referring to his side's inability to take a first innings lead at Calcutta.

 

Woolmer, a former coach of South Africa, replaced former Pakistan great Javed Miandad as coach in June last year, two months after home defeats against India.

 

"This was our eighth Test since I took over and for the first time we played to our true potential," said Woolmer, under whom Pakistan had lost five of the previous seven Tests.

 

"We were giving up from winning situations. That happened in Melbourne, Perth and also in Calcutta. I am happy it did not happen here and we outclassed India.

 

"Beating a potentially world number two team like India is a great achievement and everyone contributed -- from number one to eleven."

 

Woolmer, who was criticised for his innovative coaching that did not bear results, praised skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq for his outstanding batting and leadership.

 

"Inzamam has been batting at his peak. He is also leading from the front and that has inspired the team," said Woolmer of the captain who hit a brilliant 184 in Bangalore in his 100th Test appearance.

 

"Younis Khan proved everyone wrong by hitting 267 and 84 not out. Shahid Afridi was a revelation as a bowler with three wickets," he said.

 

Woolmer said wrong opinions about the current team spurred everyone.

 

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion and when we were coming here people said this was the weakest team ever to tour abroad. I am happy the boys proved that wrong," he said.

 

Woolmer said the series-levelling win was just the tonic Pakistan needed ahead of the six-match one-day series which opens in Cochin on April 2.

 

"Our one-day record is better. I hope that the morale boosting Test win will give us more confidence and we can beat India in the one-day series," said Woolmer, under whom Pakistan has beaten India in their last four one-dayers.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 Pakistan Cricket Board)



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