All through the Mohali Test New Zealand carried out a campaign, raking up India's abysmal overseas record and its defensive attitude at home. Acting India captain Rahul Dravid finally shot back this evening after India finished its second innings at 136-4 and the second Test petered out into a draw.
"For the first time in the series the wicket offered a chance to get a result. The Kiwis bowled in conditions that helped their spinners. The ball was turning quite a lot and yet the Kiwis were unable to force a result.
"As captain I would have forced a result," he said.
The Kiwis, after enforcing the follow-on this morning, threatened to bowl India out in the second innings after Darryl Tuffey snapped up Virender Sehwag, Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar in quick time.
Dravidsaid the Kiwis had the best conditions to bat on and also the best conditions to bowl on the last two days, yet they finished the Test sharing honours.
ReiteratingSehwag's call to play to the home team's strengths, Dravid was more measured than the young opener.
"Iwould not advocate spinning tracks but tracks with bounce and some turn will help. The India-Australia series [in 2001] were wickets with good bounce. We should play to our strengths so it gives us a better opportunity to force a result," he said.
Dravidsaid that the team's goal was to win the Test and the draw is disappointing.
"Welost the toss and the Kiwis should get credit for their performance. But we showed character to bail ourselves out and force a draw."
He pointed out that instead of a two Tests, a best-of-threeseries would be more desirable.
"Ithas been a long time since there has been a drawn series at home," he added.
PraisingV V S Laxman for his important innings under pressure, he said Laxman showed great ability under difficult conditions. He also applauded opener Aakash Chopra for his two half-centuries in the Test, saying "he is the solution we've been looking for".