Kingston: West Indies captain Carl Hooper on Wednesday told teammates not to relax after beating India in the five-Test series.
"We can't afford to be complacent and it's very important to build on this win," said Hooper after his team won the fifth and final Test by 155 runs to clinch the series 2-1 at Sabina Park. India's lone success came in the second Test at Port-of-Spain where it defeated the hosts by 37 runs. The West Indies came back strongly to win the third match by 10 wickets at Bridgetown before wrapping up the series. The opening Test at Georgetown and the fourth in Antigua were drawn. This was the West Indies' first major triumph under Hooper, having lost a home Test series against South Africa last year and away series in Sri Lanka and at Sharjah against Pakistan. Hooper has so far led his team to four victories in 17 Tests. "When I came back from Sharjah, I said we're making progress," said Hooper. "But they said how could you be making progress when you have lost 3-0 in Sri Lanka and 2-0 against Pakistan. "I'd still say we're making progress, but slowly. We're slowly turning the corner. There's still a lot of hard work to do. Maybe one day we can compete with Australia and say we've turned the corner and are on the way up." "We've been trying to play good cricket for a while. We've been trying to put in good bowling and batting performances. Each series is important whether at home or abroad. It's very important to get a result." Hooper said his fast bowlers played a crucial role in his team winning the series. "Fast bowlers are obviously getting better and it's good to see them deliver, but there's still an area where we can improve and that's batting," he said. Mervyn Dillon was the leading wicket-taker with 23 in five matches, while Pedro Collins and Adam Sanford also kept pressure on the Indian batsmen. Left-arm fast bowler Collins impressed with his ability to bowl wicket-taking deliveries at crucial stages, dismissing master batsman Sachin Tendulkar three times in as many matches. "Pedro is a different bowler," said Hooper. "Sachin looked in trouble with the one that came back into him in this series. Pedro has the ability to bring the ball in and also swing it across. "His first two dismissals of Sachin were off the deliveries which were pushed across. But Sachin is a great player and as he showed on Tuesday that given an opportunity, he can take the game by scruff of the neck. "Pedro did very well by pushing the first two balls across him and then brought one in." Tendulkar was bowled by Collins playing a wrong line after hammering a strokeful 86, posing the main threat to the West Indies during his 139-ball knock. India struggled after Tendulkar's dismissal as they were shot out for 252 while chasing a record 408-run target. "I was excited about Sanford," said Hooper. "He's very, very competitive. He has a big heart. If he could get help from men like Andy Roberts and Michael Holding, he could go a long, long way towards becoming a fast bowling threat." Hooper said India was unlucky to miss leg spinner Anil Kumble, who returned home after suffering a jaw-injury while batting in the fourth Test at Antigua. "Indians must consider themselves unfortunate not to have Kumble," said Hooper. "He could have played a key role in Antigua and here where the bounce was a bit inconsistent."
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