Win would've been the icing: Sammy
Mumbai, Nov 26: Playing for pride after having lost the first two games of the three-match series, West Indies salvaged the last Test at Wankhede eking out a draw with scores level. 17 wickets fell and almost 300 runs were scored on a day of swinging fortunes, nail-biting moments and in the end, a surprise finish.
In the post-match press conference, West Indies skipper Darren Sammy spoke about the memorable match and series overall.
On the feeling in the West Indies camp after the match was drawn
We were definitely looking for a win at the end there. Playing a higher ranked team we could have got some points had we won. Our goal for 2015 is to be in the top five in the world. I am quite happy with the result but a win would have been the icing on the cake.
On the wicket playing differently on Day 5
I did not foresee that to be happening, to be honest. But you know every disappointment is a blessing in disguise. We didn’t bat well but the bowlers came out there and showed character, fight. [Devendra] Bishoo, on one leg, bowling 50-plus overs in the match; [Marlon] Samuels bowling 20 straight overs; Ravi [Rampaul], Fidel [Edwards]; unfortunately I could not bowl in that innings. We showed fight in Dominica when we had three bowlers. Today again, a bowler down, we really showed a lot of fight. That is a positive we could take from this series; we really kept our heads up when we were down. Congrats to India on wining the series but I can foresee West Indies improving constantly.
On whether they believed a draw was possible when Virat Kohli was out and 19 runs were required from five overs
When he and [MS] Dhoni were batting with 15 overs were left, about 50-55 runs were still to be made. Then I thought the way they were batting they might not go for the runs because Ravi was bowling a good spell. And to have Bishoo bowl into the rough from the other end, like he did in Dominica, I thought they would not go for it. But they decided to go for the runs but I thought on that wicket they could offer us some chances. Dhoni presented us a chance and so did Virat and then Ishant Sharma. It was good to see them going for the runs but in the end we always saw that as an opportunity to get wickets.
On the team’s plans as the started the day
When we came to the ground we were hoping to get 300-plus, bat till lunch and give them 50 overs to chase it down. But after losing seven to eight wickets in the morning session we had to go back to the drawing board and plan out the game. We kept believing. We did not bat well so we had to go out there and at least salvage a draw or win. We saw the wicket play [well] and we were hoping that we could take wickets and we did so and in the end it gave us a great Test match. But in future […] we would want to bat properly in both innings of a Test match.
On whether the pitch changed on Day 5
It did bounce and turn more than on all the previous four days but it was nothing that we shouldn’t be able to handle.
On why he did not bowl
I had a sore hamstring and did not want to risk it with the ODI series coming up. Our bowling unit is very capable as we showed in Dominica when we were a bowler down; we had the bowlers who had the heart to pick up for the bowler down. So we saw today Bishoo and Ravi and Samuels and Fidel in the end doing the job that was necessary for us to salvage a draw.
On the field settings
[Virender] Sehwag plays one way. We know he is strong square of the wicket so we were trying to protect the boundaries but have fielders in place in attacking [positions]. We set one-day fields without the restrictions in the first ten overs. We tried to make them hit to the areas where we had the fielders. He offered some chances we did not take but in the end we managed to get him out and slow the run rate and [produce] a good advertisement for Test cricket.
On the second-innings batting collapse
We took the position for granted. Knowing that we had scored 590 in the first innings we relaxed a little bit. Some of the shots played were not called for. At the end we paid the price for it. I know the coach will definitely talk about. It is about us being mentally prepared to bat in both innings of a Test match.
On the team’s progress under Ottis Gibson
On a personal note Gibson has a way bringing out the belief in the team. You can see how the bowling unit has progressed and improved well. We came from not being able to bowling out teams twice and then bowling out India who were No. 1 back then in the Caribbean; travelled to Sri Lanka and enforced the follow-on; we drew with Pakistan at home and here in India we competed really well. The guys are slowly but surely believing that we could achieve things like we showed in the last Test – following on, scoring over 400 runs in the second innings. In the first Test we were in a position to win. Gibson keeps telling us that in order to win we must create an opportunity. So far we have been creating lots of opportunities to win. It is about getting that belief that we could move and win.
On whether the prospect of a tie had crossed his mind
All sorts of things were going through my mind coming down to the end. At one point the tied Test went through my mind. I was speaking to Kirk Edwards at the crease [saying], “Win or draw, win or draw; we can’t lose this, we won’t lose this.” That was the belief in the guys. The way we batted it would have been very heartbreaking for us to come back and lose the game.