Kingston, Aug 4 (IANS) India head coach Anil Kumble has hailed the West Indies team’s fighting spirit in saving the second Test match, which ended in a draw at the Sabina Park here.
Down and out for almost the entire four days, the hosts rode on all-rounder Roston Chase’s resilient unbeaten 137 off 269 balls along with his five-for in the first innings to secure an improbable draw on Wednesday.
Staring at a defeat when play resumed on 48/4, the home side bounced back with valuable contributions from Chase, Jermaine Blackwood (62), Shane Dowrich (74) and skipper Jason Holder (64 not out) to score 388/6 in 194 overs, denying the visitors a 2-0 lead in the series.
Despite the Indian bowlers sticking to a tight line and length on the final day, they failed to break the shackles. Kumble credited the Caribbean team’s efforts but rued the fact that four sessions were lost due to rain.
“Obviously, we wanted to win this Test match. Yesterday, I thought we were in a very good position and credit to the West Indies batsmen, the way they batted,” Kumble said in the post-match press conference.
“Yesterday, the time lost was very crucial for us, because we were in great momentum and the conditions were such that it could have been different if we had probably bowled yesterday. There was loss of play; more than 100 overs in this Test match.”
“But all those factors mattered. In the end, credit to the West Indian batsmen, how they batted today and their application as well,” he added.
Asked if India could have declared early keeping in mind the rain threat, Kumble said key decisions should not be made according to weather forecasts.
“You can’t really look at the forecast and take decisions. If you looked at the forecast on day 3, it was supposed to rain the whole day, and even day 4 it was supposed to rain. So you can’t really look at the forecast and decide what you need to do. Yes, you strategise slightly differently.
“It’s all nice to now sit and say when we should have declared and what if, but I thought we played really good cricket, we were dominant right throughout and today, you know the change in momentum happened and credit to the West Indian batsmen.”
“You obviously feel from the position we were in that we should have probably wrapped up the Test match, but having said that this is certainly something that happens in a Test match. You have times when the opposition puts up a brave challenge and that’s exactly what happened,” he added.
Despite managing to get rid of the top order, India failed to pack the tail quickly, which Kumble said will be discussed in the team meetings.
“There’s nothing as tail or top order. You try and put together a plan for every batsman. You try and execute that. What we have done really well is knock the top off really quickly.”
“That is certainly something we will discuss, as to how we get the last three or four. At the end of it, it’s about picking 20 wickets. I’m very happy with the effort put in by our bowlers,” the former India skipper added.