Winning series far better than personal feat: Hooper

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2002, 21:37 [IST]
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St John's: West Indies captain Carl Hooper said on Tuesday he was not surprised to see Indian leg spinner Anil Kumble bowl with a broken jaw in the fourth Test.

"I wasn't really surprised to see Kumble come on to bowl," said Hooper after the drawn Test. "He (Kumble) obviously realised the wicket was turning a bit and maybe the bounce was a little inconsistent. He thought he could come in and see if he could make some early inroads. "If he'd picked up a few more wickets, we'd have had to come back today and had to bowl." The Indian leg spinner returned to bowl with a fractured jaw on Sunday, giving a scare or two to the West Indies during his 14 disciplined overs. Kumble, struck on the jaw by a rising delivery from fast bowler Mervyn Dillon while batting on Saturday, trapped Brian Lara leg before for four and then had Hooper caught by Shiv Das at forward short-leg off a no-ball. "Maybe we missed a spinner, but you always seem to be wiser after the event," said Hooper. "We played with four fast bowlers because we thought that would do the job for us. It worked for us in Barbados and we thought it'd work again. Maybe it's something to learn from for the future." Hooper said he was disappointed with the result as the pitch never encouraged fast bowling. "It's disappointing," he said. "After two good Tests in Trinidad and Barbados, I expected the game here to have a result. It was not great to see the first innings of each team was not even completed." The West Indies amassed 629 for nine declared in reply to India's 513 for nine declared. "I don't think the wicket was very encouraging for the quicks," he said. "Though it broke in the last two days, I don't think there was any great turn. Even if there was, it was more off the rough. Our tactics are based on seamers, so obviously we want something that'll encourage fast bowlers. We don't want a flat track. We want a wicket where if you put in something, you get something." The West Indies captain, who has so far scored 556 in four Tests, said winning the series mattered more than personal achievements. "I've said time and again that the figures and facts are not important for me. I want to win this Test series more than anything else." West Indies coach Roger Harper praised wicket-keeper Ridley Jacobs and openers Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds for solving some of the team's problems ahead of the crucial fifth and final Test, starting in Jamaica on May 18. "It was really heartening to see Jacobs come out and score runs the way we know he's capable of. That adds a lot of depth to our batting and makes us feel more comfortable," said Harper. Jacobs smashed a career-best 118 for his second Test century, while Hinds made an impressive 65. "After the third Test, our main concern was top and lower-order batting," said Harper. "We had a bit of a start in this match and it was a pity one of the openers couldn't carry on and get a century. With Jacobs scoring a hundred at number seven, the lower order has been strengthened." Hinds shared a 65-run stand with Gayle for the opening wicket, the West Indies' best in this series. Harper said his bowlers had been doing well in the series and if they could get help from the Jamaica pitch, they would deliver again. Jacobs said scoring a century at home was a dream come true for him. "It's a great feeling," he said. "Getting a century at home is always something you want to do and it's a dream come true. It was one of my sweetest moments. "I honestly wanted to dedicate this to all the mothers on Mothers' Day (May 12). It may have been a bit late, but this is for my mother."

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