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Follow-on never an option: Lara

"Even if we had a lead of 300 runs, we were not going to enforce the follow-on," said WI skipper.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2006 03:53 IST

West Indies captain Brian Lara has revealed that West Indies had no plans to enforce the follow-on after leading India by 219 runs after the first innings of the third Test against India at Warner Park.

West Indies bowled India out for 362 to concede a first innings lead of 219, but the home team chose to bat a second time and subsided to 113 for four when stumps were drawn on the penultimate day Sunday.

"Even if we had a lead of 300 runs, we were not going to enforce the follow-on," Lara told reporters.

"We do not have specialist spinners that run-up from two or three steps and do not exert too much energy. We have fast bowlers and it's a pretty tough surface on which to bowl, and I think it was necessary that they get a rest.

"We always had it in the back of our minds about going back to bat and setting India a target."

Lara added that the fatigue level of his bowlers and a leg injury to Pedro Collins also contributed to West Indies' decision to bat for a second time.

"Pedro Collins came off the field just before the end of the Indian innings with leg cramps, and it would have been difficult for our fast bowlers to come back immediately if I had to enforce the follow-on," Lara said.

"So I thought it would be better for us to get some runs on the board and get the bowlers some rest overnight and come back fresh on the last day.

"It's a situation where we want to have as much time as possible bowling at them with the bowling attack fresh."

Lara acknowledged that his attack was not very strong, but he felt more comfortable defending 400 runs on the last day, rather than allowing India a chance to set West Indies a target.

"I do not think that they would be declaring if you have 100-plus overs left in a game," he said.

"I do not think any captain would be looking to go past 219 runs that confidently to think about setting the opposition a target."

The four-Test series is still level at 0-0, after the first two Tests at the Antigua Recreation Ground and the Beausejour Cricket Ground ended in tense draws.

The series concludes at Kingston's Sabina Park on July 4.