Nottingham:Indian captain Rahul Dravid hailed Zaheer Khan for his magnificent bowling which helped get the game by the "scruff of the neck" to eventually romp home in the second cricket Test against England in Nottingham on Tuesday.
"Zaheer was brilliant. We need players who can come ahead and play like him. He helped us get the game by the scruff of the neck," Dravid said after leading India to seven-wicket win at Trent Bridge.
"Our bowlers put the bowl in the right areas which was very important for us to win the match," he added.
The Indian captain, who now looks forward to a series win in England after over a two decade gap, praised the team as a whole and players' collective effort.
"Everyone had some contribution in it. We knew we had players who could do well. It was a new innings after the Lord's (when the team was saved from a certain defeat due to weather)."
Dravid said openers Dinesh Kaarthick and Wasim Jaffer gave India the chance to dominate in the match from the second day itself by laying a strong foundation.
"The middle order definitely answered back to their critics. We did it even without a hundred from anyone. The openers are also learning and they gave us the chance to dominate in the match from the start," he said.
Dravid said he expected it to be a tough encounter till the end even though India needed just 63 more runs for the win on the final day.
"It was a close match. It was a tough match. I expected it to be so as I did not think England were going to lie down till the end," he said.
Indian bowlers praised
England captain Michael Vaughan also praised the Indian bowlers for bowling right line and length during the whole match.
"They bowled in right areas. It was a very-very good bowling from Zaheer. He bowled beautifully," he said.
Vaughan, who has an impeccable record at home, said 60-70 more runs in England's total could have made a huge difference to the result.
"We played some good cricket. But 60-70 more runs could have really helped us," he said.
On the umpiring errors, he said "you have to play in the spirit of the game".
Zaheer, who gave heroic performance of 5-75 in the second innings to claim the match haul of nine wickets, said he enjoyed bowling in English conditions.
"Coming from the sub-continent I really enjoyed the conditions for bowling. It (the ball) swings the whole day," he said.
Asked about the ball used he quipped "They should used the duke ball everywhere".
Zaheer said his stint with the Youkshire county helped him gain the consistency.
"It did help. It was a learning experience and helped me achieve consistency."
On his changed style of bowling around the wicket, Zaheer said he had started "bowling wayward last year to counter which I began bowling around the stumps."
He also emphasised on the recovery period for fast bowlers, saying "it is very important".