Cricket’s glorious uncertainties hit India hard at Sabina Park on Wednesday after West Indies escaped with a draw in the second Test, but India coach Anil Kumble took it on his chin.
“If everything happened just how we thought it would, life would be very easy. In the morning we were keen to win the Test and were confident we could. At tea when they were 15 ahead, and there were 30 overs left, we still felt we could win. The approach that we want to win does not change at any stage. When you bowl on the last day trying to win a match and get only two wickets bowling almost 90 overs, you will learn things. We will sit and talk about this,” he said after the visitors’ hopes of taking a 2-0 lead in the four-match series were dashed.
Kumble though insisted that the result could have been different had India got some more time on Tuesday. Play was stopped due to rain on Day 4 after just 15.5 overs with West Indies tottering at 48/4. “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 (more). There was loss of play, more than 100 overs in this Test. All those factors mattered. In the end, credit to the West Indian batsmen, how they batted today and their application as well.”
In hindsight, India would have been served better had they not taken so much time to score 500 and declared earlier, but no one could have anticipated the resistance from West Indies. “If you looked at the forecast on Day 3, it was supposed to rain the whole day. And even on 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. Having said that, we wanted to bat once because if you had declared probably at the end of the second day with (a lead of) 160 on the board, you may have batted today. 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 have times when the opposition puts up a brave challenge and that’s exactly what happened.”
Kumble also credited Roston Chase, who struck a century after taking five wickets to force the draw.”It’s creditable for someone playing his second Test to bat through the day and save the game. Chase’s approach today was very good. He looked to attack when needed to and blocked literally every ball, so it kept our bowlers at bay, which was disappointing from the outside.”