West Indies off-spinner Shane Shillingford said his success in the two Tests against India was the result of hard work and preparation prior to the series.
The 30-year-old Shillingford captured 5-179 from 43 overs, as India were bowled out for 495 to gain a 313-run, first innings lead on the second day at the Wankhede Stadium here.
It was the sixth time that the lanky Shillingford has taken five wickets or more in a Test innings and followed a six-wicket haul in the first Test which ended last Friday at Eden Gardens in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata.
“When I left home, I was up for a challenge coming to India,” he told reporters following play. “I knew there would be spinning tracks, but I also knew at the back of mind that the Indian batsmen play spin bowling pretty well.
“I knew it was not going to be an easy work. It was a lot of hard work and stuff. I enjoyed every moment of it.”
Shillingford was trumped by Cheteshwar Pujara with the top score for India of 113, Rohit Sharma was undefeated on 111, Sachin Tendulkar made 74 and Virat Kohli hit 57, as India’s batsmen revelled in familiar conditions.
“The Indian batsmen use their feet very well against the spin and that is a plus for a batsman and helps them to build confidence,” said Shillingford. “I thought they batted really well.
“I prepared for this tour the same way I always do. I bowled a lot of balls and did some bowling at one stump.
“Before coming to India, I was also doing some work with Saqlain Mushtaq and that would have helped me a lot. My main thing is to bowl long spells and do a lot of stock bowling and get the job done.”
Shillingford hailed part-time off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine for claiming the prized scalp of Tendulkar, the retiring Indian batting great.
“It wasn’t like a definite plan (to bowl Deonarine),” he said. “As the game progressed, we wanted to rotate other bowlers. When he got the wicket, we told him he is part of history now. Maybe that was [Tendulkar’s] last innings now and he wanted to play well.
“I thought [Deonarine] bowled well to him and was fortunate enough to get him out. After we came to the dressing room, we told him job well done in getting the master out.
On Tendulkar, Shillingford said: “I think as a batsman, he uses his feet very well. Coming back and forth and getting to the pitch of the ball, that is what really works for him. He has been doing it for so many years, he only got better and better.”
On the state of the game, Shillingford said he hoped the batsmen could put their heads down and bat long to bail West Indies out.
“Three wickets are down, but that is how the game goes,” he said. “We have to bat for two days. There is still a lot of batting to come. It is a matter of application and the guys getting together and getting the job done.
“On the first day, the pitch was on the damp side, the ball was doing a bit and the ball was spinning more. As the day progressed, it started slowing down a bit. I still think it is a pitch, where our batsmen can come and get big runs.
“It is a matter of application, once you apply yourself on that pitch, you can get good runs.”
West Indies resume from 43 for three on the third day.