KOLKATA, India – Darren Sammy said his side could learn a lot from India, particularly from the pair of Rohit Sharma and Mohammad Shami, whose performances were key to their side’s victory.
But the West Indies captain remained optimistic that his side could put up a much stronger fight in the second and final Test starting this coming Thursday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
A dramatic batting collapse after tea under the pressure of high-quality swing bowling from Shami sent the Windies crashing to an innings and 51-run defeat in the first Test against the Indians on Friday at Eden Gardens here.
None of the Windies batsman looked comfortable at the crease once Shami got the ball to reverse swing prodigiously, and the visitors were all out for 168 in their second innings about 20 minutes before the scheduled close on the third day.
Shami collected 5-47 from 13.1 overs to finish with the second-best match figures by an Indian on Test debut of 9-118, but Sharma, whose 177 anchored the home team to 453 in their first innings and a lead of 219, was named Man-of-the-Match.
The victory gave India a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series with the final Test expected to be a grand affair in the home city of India’s batting megastar Sachin Tendulkar, who will be playing his 200th and final Test for his homeland.
“This was a disappointing loss for us,” said Sammy. “We are a much better team than how we played, but all credit must go to India. The way they used the old ball, especially Shami, I think he got the ball reversing quite well and our batsmen were not patient enough, starting with me.
“I remember prior to the match saying hopefully the Indian batsmen might still be in the One-day mode and play a lot of shots, but it was our batsmen playing the loose shots. There is much for us to think on, but all is not lost. We have another Test in Mumbai to show and we have to come back much stronger than what we showed over the last three days.”
Sammy said he was one of the batsmen that did not place a high value on their wicket during the Test, particularly in the first innings.
“As a batting group, we have not batted well at all,” he said. “A lot of rash shots were played, irresponsible shots. It started with me as captain especially in the first innings, but it is something each individual has to pick up on their selves, be responsible for the runs for the team. As a group we did not do that in any of the innings.
“One of our goals is to bat at least 130 overs in the first innings. In the first innings, we batted 78, and in the second innings, we batted 54, so we are not occupying the crease and Test cricket is about being patient.
“We saw how Rohit in the first innings occupied the crease and so did Ravichandran Ashwin. We as a batting group should take a lesson from the way those two batted. We had our main spinner bowling for most of the innings and they just played ball by ball and they just batted us out of the game – that one partnership.”
Sammy said he was disappointed with the way West Indies had bowled in the Test with the exception of off-spinner Shane Shillingford, whose 6-167 from 55 overs gave him five wickets in a Test for the fifth time in 11 Tests.
“The time we played in India, it was the spinners that took all the wickets, but this time, it was [Shami] and he took nine in this match,” said Sammy. “All credit to him – he was very impressive and he showed us how to bowl on these pitches in India.
“We can learn a lot from India’s performance, the way they played their cricket, and look to implement it in our next match. We have a short turnaround, but we have to come back much stronger than what we displayed.”