Win against Australia set the tempo: Laxman

Kolkata: Instrumental in making Team India the Number one Test side, VVS Laxman said the win over three-time defending champions Australia in the quarterfinal set the tempo for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men as they lifted the elusive World Cup after 28 long years.

The stylish Hyderabadi batsman also had a special word of praise for the Team India support staff including coach Gary Kirsten, Paddy Upton for the behind-the-scene contribution.

Talking to PTI over phone, Laxman said, "The turning point was the way we played against the Aussies, the defending champions. The way our bowlers responded in the quarterfinal was superb. Even we fielded with a lot of intensity.

"Even against Pakistan, the difference came with bowling.

I have always mentioned we have the team, the potential and lot of match winners. The hallmark of the team was the team work everybody put in."

On the World Cup winning moment, Laxman said, "It was absolutely great … It was a fantastic experience, a great victory. Now that the team are world champions, all team members should be proud."

Laxman said the 1983 win by the Kapil`s Devils had inspired many youngsters, including him, so a similar impression would be left by Dhoni`s army.

"The future for India looks good. We should keep continuing our dominance in both the formats. I remember 1983`s achievement had given a lot of inspiration.

"I was nine then. This win will also motivate a lot of youngsters and inspire them to take up cricket. I am sure a lot of good players will be coming up and take up cricket as a profession," Laxman said.

Hailing the support staff, Laxman said, "Along with the team I would congratulate the support staff, for the hardwork they put in place … Sometime their contribution went unrecognised. But Gary, Paddy, the entire support staff should be thanked."

"It`s great that the Indian side are No 1 in Test and ODIs. It`s a very good position to be in. I must say all players involved put in lot of hard work. Because of all this they are achieving the success," Laxman, a vital cog in India`s Test scheme of things, said.

Laxman also had words of praise for captain courageous Dhoni who silenced his critics scoring an unbeaten 91 during India`s six-wicket win over the Lankans in the World Cup final last night.

"It was not only yesterday… He has been a fabulous captain since he took over. He gave us the success in World Twenty20 and now he did it with the fifty-over format".

"That`s why he is so much respected. He takes responsibility leading from the front. It was a tactical move by him promoting himself ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh.

"He wanted to continue with the left-right combination.

He played with a lot of responsibility. He could have easily played his natural game and take aerial root but he understood the situation and played with a lot of discipline. That was the hallmark of his innings."

Laxman also was high in praise for Zaheer Khan who bowled a superb opening spell of 5-3-6-1.

"The way they started off, the very first spell by Zaheer Khan… That showed the kind of determination by the team."

With Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar finally realising his long-cherished dream after being part of six World Cups, Laxman said it was the proudest moment for the Mumbaikar.

"He was really determined to finish on a winning side before he can probably call it quits. It`s great to see that he is able to achieve his dream.

"Before the start of the tournament, all the boys had said they wanted to dedicate it to Sachin, that shows the respect. He is a great ambassador of the game. His contribution is exemplary. It feels really great that he could realise his dream," Laxman said.