New Delhi:Opening batsman Wasim Jaffer on Sunday termed skipper Anil Kumble's decision of taking the new ball in the middle of an over as "very practical" and said it was the turning point on the penultimate day of the first cricket Test against Pakistan in New Delhi.
Kumble did not take the new ball when it was due but asked for it in the middle of an over bowled by Sourav Ganguly, who dismissed Misbah-ul Haq off the very next delivery following which the Pakistan lower order collapsed like a house of cards.
"I don't know what was going on in his mind but it was a very practical move. It was the turning point in the match today," Jaffer said after the day's play at the Ferozeshah Kotla.
He said the Indian team could smell victory when Pakistan set a target of 203 to be scored in more than five sessions.
"When we learnt that a 200-run target is set for us, we knew it was chaseable," he said after contributing 53 runs to help India get within sniffing distance of winning the Test.
India is just 32 runs away from winning the series opener with seven wickets still in hand and the Mumbai batsman hoped an in-form Sourav Ganguly would finish the match on Monday.
"It was a good partnership between me and Rahul Dravid and it brought the momentum to our side. Sourav Ganguly is also in good form and we want that he plays to the end tomorrow also and wins the match," he said.
Jaffer and Dravid put on an 82-run partnership after Dinesh Kaarthick was dismissed in the first over of the innings while Ganguly was unbeaten at 48 along with Sachin Tendulkar (32) when stumps were drawn.
Jaffer did not agree that poor shot selection led to his dismissal.
"My shot selection was not wrong. I kept the ball low. I could also have sent it high but I spent some time there (in the middle) and you have to appreciate that. But I would have liked if I had scored more," he said.
"It's good that I've come out well against Shoaib Akhtar who was bowling around 140 kmph," he added.
On Kaarthik's (2) cheap dismissal, he said a couple of bad innings did not make someone a bad player.
"Opening an innings is difficult. Obviously, failing in one or two innings builds pressure but it does not make you a bad player. We should sympathise with Kaarthick," he said.