Indian cricket team head coach Anil Kumble was enjoying the perfect start to life as coach as his team seemed on the verge of clinching the second Test at Jamaica before the start of play on the 5th day. India had thoroughly dominated play from day 1, starting with an impressive bowling performance knocking the hosts over for 196 and following it up by putting 500 on the board before declaring.
On a largely rain-affected day 4, the visitors made sure to push their advantage with a great bowling performance, picking up 4 wickets for only 48 runs to sit on the verge of victory. Jermaine Blackwood and Roston Chase walked out on day 5 with a different attitude, ready to fight and pulled off a memorable draw.
"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 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." Kumble said in a contemplative mood.
The star of the match was undoubtedly Roston Chase. The 24 year old from Barbados picked up his first five-wicket haul and first Test hundred in Jamaica, becoming the first West Indian to achieve the feat in 50 years after Sir Garfield Sobers had done the same in 1966.
"Creditable for someone playing his second Test match to bat through the day and save the game for his team. Chase's approach today was very good. He looked to attack when needed and blocked literally every ball, so kept our bowlers at bay, which was obviously disappointing from the outside." Kumble added.
Coach Kumble rued the chances the went begging and believed his team could have adjusted better to the surroundings and circumstances.
“Initially, since we had 300 runs on the board, we were attacking and they came hard at us as well, and they got away in the first five or six overs. They got a lot of runs. And once that one or one-and-a-half-hour period happened, I believe the ball went a bit soft as well. So it was quite difficult to get the purchase that we were getting yesterday and the conditions were different. It was cloudy, there was some rain about and there was a lot more swing. So in that sense, we could have probably adapted better."
Questions were always going to be asked about India’s approach while batting, since the team added 500 at less than 3 runs an over with Cheteshwar Pujara especially guilty of being overly pedestrian in his approach. Many people felt that India should have declared much earlier as they were aware that rain was always going to be a factor of days 3 and 4.
To this, Kumble added, "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."
It’s safe to say, that at the end of the day, Test cricket was the real winner.Published 04 Aug 2016, 13:03 IST