Ahmedabad:New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori had no qualms in admitting that India's lower-order batman Harbhajan Singh denied the Kiwis a possible win in the first cricket Test with his aggressive brand of cricket.
Harbhajan Singh (115) smashed his maiden Test century when chips were down for the hosts and along with ever dependable VVS Laxman (91) saved India from the clutches of defeat.
"Harbhajan is a good attacking batsman and he knows how to play the shots. He put us under pressure," Vettori told reporters during the post-match press conference here.
"Harbhajan played his natural game and put the pressure back on to us. He blocked our attack and played so well and aggressive cricket that he managed to take the game away from us," he said.
The Kiwi-skipper also praised Laxman for using all his experience to take India to safety.
"I think good players play well in a bad situation. Laxman knows his game well. And today, with that sort of experience and talent, he played his natural game," he said.
Laxman and Harbhajan shared a match-saving partnership of 163 runs for the seventh wicket to take the hosts, who began day five with just 82 runs on board for the loss of six wickets, to safety.
Vettori said, "When India got over the 250 mark we thought the match was creeping out of our hands."
Vettori though was happy with the outcome of the match.
"Coming back from the Bangladesh series we are happy with what we have achieved but are not satisfied as we could not finish the job."
"The team is happy to be in such a strong position following the disastrous tour of Bangladesh, where it lost the five-match ODI series 0-4," Vettori said.
Praising pacer Chris Martin, who single-handedly cleaned the famed Indian top-order with five crucial blows in the second innings and raised hopes of an upset by New Zealand, Vettori said bowling was not a matter of concern for the team.
Asked whether he felt the Umpire Decision Referral System (UDRS) could have been helpful during the game, Vettori said, "I never felt the need."
However, he clarified that the he was in favour of UDRS and was of the opinion that the system would be good for the game.
Laxman and Zaheer Khan were wrongly adjudged LBW by umpire Steve Davis off consecutive balls, as TV replays showed the ball had deflected off the bat on to the pad in both the cases.