New Delhi:Having been included in the Test team ahead of an in-form Yuvraj Singh, Sourav Ganguly said on Thursday it was a reward for consistently performing well in the side for the last few months.
"I've been in this situation even before. But I had best performance in the team in last eight to ten months... so when you perform you are rewarded," Ganguly told reporters after the first day's play in the opening Test against Pakistan at the Ferozeshah Kotla grounds in Delhi.
The left hander agreed Yuvraj was strongly pushing for a place in the team after his match-winning performances in the one-dayers and Twenty20 World Cup but said at the highest level of sports it was always like that.
"Yuvraj is pushing for a place... but at this level of sports someone will always be knocking at the door for a place. And that's how it should be. When me and (Rahul Dravid) were young we also were knocking at the door with seniors like (Navjot Singh) Sidhu, (Ravi) Shastri and others in the team.
"It is good because it keeps you on your toes. It is a process and it goes on," he added.
Ganguly rated India's performance as good on the "typical Kotla" wicket on the first day of the Test.
"We bowled in right areas and closing the day at 210 for 8 at the typical Kotla wicket was good."
Asked if there was anything wrong with the Indian bowlers as Pakistan were 142 or 8 and went on to cross the 200 mark, Ganguly gave credit to the ninth wicket partnership between Misbah-ul Haq (71) and Mohammad Sami (20).
"Sami and Misbah batted well," Ganguly said praising Misbah for "good performance under pressure."
"We bowled very well today. There is still a lot of cricket left in this match. We will have to maintain the discipline in bowling," he added.
On his own bowling performance, Ganguly who returned 12-5-24-1, said "I enjoyed my bowling. In any form of cricket and any picth, new ball will do its bit. There was moisture on the pitch in the Delhi winter morning".
Ganguly also praised paceman Munaf Patel, saying he made a good comeback after an injury lay off.
"I am very happy with Munaf. Coming back is never easy. Fitness is a important and it had been harsh on him. But he has comeback well."
Asked what score could be predicted on the pitch, he said "good total depends on how the two teams play.
"There has to be at least one partnership when you play the longer form of cricket."
On Kumble's captaincy, he said the Karnataka spinner "was fantastic. Even when he was not a captain I knew he had makings of a captain.
"He handled the field placements well and the way he made me bowl a few overs before the lunch break tells it all," he said.