Kingston (Jamaica): India skipper Saurav Ganguly said on Wednesday the lack of mental toughness rather than of ability was the main reason for his team's not winning an overseas Test series.
"The problem is not with the ability, but with the mind," said Ganguly, whose team lost the fifth and final Test by 155 runs against the West Indies to suffer a 1-2 defeat in the five-match series. India is yet to win an away Test series under Ganguly's captaincy, having settled for a 1-1 draw in Zimbabwe and lost in Sri Lanka, South Africa and the West Indies. India's last series win outside the sub-continent came in 1986 when it beat England 2-0 under Kapil Dev's captaincy. "We've the ability to win an away Test series, but I don't think we've the mindset. That's the main reason why we haven't done well abroad," Ganguly said. "We've never done well in crunch matches. We've to produce something extra in these games and we've never been able to do it. Our performance in the One-day finals has also proved that, so we need to work on that." Ganguly denied India had always been a poor team overseas, saying his squad had won a few away Tests under his leadership. "Had this been the case, we wouldn't have won in Dhaka, Bulawayo, Kandy and Port of Spain. The foreign conditions are not really the key. The West Indies played better cricket than us in Barbados and here and won the series," he said. "We just didn't bat well on a good wicket in Barbados. The ball moved for 10 to 15 overs on the first morning. Had we not lost early wickets during that period we would have done better," Ganguly said. India was shot out for 102 in their first innings after being put in to bat and never looked like bouncing back into the match thereafter. The West Indies won the Test by 10 wickets to square the series 1-1. "It was the same here. We won the toss and bowled badly on the first morning and allowed their openers to raise a big stand. I think Wavell Hinds and Chris Gayle took the game away from us on the first day," he said. "We then didn't bat well in the first innings. They played better overall cricket than us." India coach John Wright said batting let the team down in the deciding game. "To be honest, we can't afford to lose so many wickets coming into the final day while trying to win or save the game or taking advantage of the weather conditions," Wright said. "When you needed that many runs, you needed a couple of hundreds. The earlier the better and then go from there. What was disappointing about this particular match was that it was the decider and everyone was aware of that," he said. "To win a series away from home, you got to understand it isn't going to be easy. The conditions may not be suited to you or you may not be used to them. "Not winning here was disappointing for us and for Indian public who deserve an overseas win. It's almost a mindset. We've got to turn it around," he added.
WI cleans up tail without much ado, wins series
hatscricket Special: India's Caribbean Adventure