Bridgetown: We must say Sachin Tendulkar is the key batter we wanted to get him out. It is the same with Indians when it concerns Brian Lara. These two are world-class players.
We realise that even though Rahul Dravid may be in and Saurav Ganguly may be doing well, the man to get is Tendulkar. When we got him out in the first innings, to me, it was a big psychological blow to India. Not only we are aware what batting he can do, we also know that the Indian batting relies heavily on Tendulkar. Even though others may be getting runs, Tendulkar is the spearhead, the leather hunter. When we got him out in the second innings only then I thought we had the set, game and match.
I am not sure if he would be under pressure after these three innings. If he is, I would not take Sachin Tendulkar for granted. He is a world-class player and he has got the opponents respect world over. He can turn a Test match around with his own bat. We have got to be very, very careful and even though he might have had three poor scores in the last couple of Tests, he can come up trumps in the next game. I just hope his poor form continues at least until Jamaica. When it comes to Tendulkar, I think I am caught between rock and a hard place.
I love to watch the great man bat. Sure the Caribbean public is missing a great opportunity. He is one of the greatest players to have ever come to the crease. At the same time, I want to see his back too. We want to stay on top of the situation until Jamaica. About me, a lot of people have come up to me and said they have seen a new Carl in this Test. A Hooper who is patient and willing to graft his runs. It is partially because I am a bit more mature and possibly I understand the game of cricket a bit more.
I have also learnt to be patient. I can now play through sessions, play through difficult periods. I have come through okay but I think you also have to give the Indian bowlers the credit. They bowled a good line and length and obviously they have been doing good homework on me. They made the run-scoring very, very difficult but I am happy I came through in the end. Having got a double in Guyana and having a 50 in Trinidad, I thought I was really in good form and to come here and scratch around for better part of an hour and a half, it took really a lot of toll on my patience.
I am glad I came through. There has been a lot of debate about the third umpires' ruling in my favour on a run- out appeal early in my innings on the second day. I had a look at the replay in the evening of the game and it looked to me as if I was short of crease. While I was there batting, I realised it was close. But I wanted the confirmation from the third umpire. The minute it said I wasn't out, I was relieved.
A third umpire's is a tough job but in many ways good for the game. He has the benefit of the slow motion, the television replays and he is in the best position to make a ruling. Coming to Indian batting in this match, I think on the first day of the Test even though the wicket had a bit in it, your guys could have batted a bit better.
We bowled well but a score of 102 was because of a lot of poor shots. I was even surprised with the shot Dravid played in the second innings. He is a patient man, he can bat for long hours, he can graft but I would also say some consistent, good bowling from Cameron Cuffy who bowled 18 overs for three runs built up the pressure on him. It is not that you don't have players who cant graft.
Shiv Sunder Das was willing to graft in the second innings, Ganguly was prepared to put his head down but by then, perhaps, it was too late. One man we need to plan against in Antigua would be Wasim Jaffer. The tall Indian opener looked the part in this game and would certainly be around in Antigua. Here, his knock was aided by a number of loose balls we bowled. We must make sure it doesn't happen in Antigua.