Kolkata: West Indies skipper Carl Hooper conceded on Sunday that Sachin Tendulkar and Laxman had taken the third and final Test away from his team.
"The morning session today was very important. But Sachin and Laxman played very well to deny us a win," said Hooper. "Tendulkar is a world-class player and we have to admit that." India, after conceding a lead of 139, was reeling at 87 for 4 before Tendulkar and Laxman restored India's fortunes with a record 214-run stand for the fifth wicket. When play resumed on the last day at the Eden Gardens here, India was just 56 runs ahead with six wickets in hand. Hooper said his team's batting had been a high point in the third Test. "We batted well here, which we couldn't do in the last two Tests. But our fielding was as poor as in previous matches," said Hooper. The West Indies posted 497 for its highest total in five innings on the current tour, putting pressure on the hosts for the first time after going down tamely in the previous two Tests at Mumbai and Chennai. Indian captain Saurav Ganguly, too, praised the tourists' batting in the Test, while lauding Tendulkar and Laxman for their crucial partnership. "I'm not at all disappointed at not making a clean sweep because the West Indies played very good cricket here. I think we did well to save the match, thanks to Sachin and Laxman," Ganguly said. "Anything could have happened in the morning session and our plan was not to lose a wicket during that period." Ganguly was, however, not happy with his own form. "I'm disappointed at my form. I had a chance to get a big score here because it was a good batting track," he said after scoring just 49 runs in four Test innings in the series. India and the West Indies now play a seven-match One-day series starting at Jamshedpur on November 6.
Tendulkar pulls hamstring, doubtful for One-dayers