Hooper defends tactics in drawn first Test vs India

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2002, 20:24 [IST]
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Georgetown (Guyana): West Indies captain Carl Hooper defended his tactics of field placements against India in the rain-ruined first Test which ended in a draw here on Monday. "I think the criticism has no basis," said Hooper when he was questioned over his tactics of keeping no short leg or close-in fielders or enough slips when India, facing the second new ball, was 275 for seven needing 302 to avoid the follow on. "There is no point in keeping a short leg when you feel there is not going to be a bat-pad chance. The same goes for the slips. You also have to look at the kind of bowling we were doing," Hooper said. India, riding on the eighth wicket stand of 120 runs between Rahul Dravid (144) and Sharandeep Singh (39), not only avoided the follow on, but also progressed to 395 for seven before rain forced the Test to end in a draw.

Coach Roger Harper said he was disappointed with his bowlers who bowled a lot of four-scoring balls. "That's not the way to bowl in Test cricket," he said. Hooper said despite his batsmen's good showing in the Test, a lot of work still remained to be done. "We lost early wickets and then towards the close, we again lost quick wickets. We were 44 for three and it could have easily become 44 for four. "Then it would have been a different ball game altogether. There are areas in batting where we can do better."

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