Mumbai, Nov 26: Satisfied after snatching a thrilling draw in the third Test against India on Saturday, West Indies skipper Darren Sammy said a defeat in the final match of the series would have broken their hearts, especially after scoring a massive total in the first innings.
Chasing 243 runs in the second innings to complete a rare series whitewash against West Indies, India managed 242-9, failing to score two runs off the last ball of the match, thereby ensuring a nerve-wracking finish.
"I had all sorts of feelings coming into my mind. At one time, the feeling of a tied Test too came to my mind. I was speaking to Kirk (Edwards) at covers and he said 'we can draw, we won't lose.' To lose the game after scoring 590 would have been heart-breaking for us," a visibly-contended Sammy said at the post-match press conference after the final day's play.
Needing three runs to win off the last over with two wickets in hand, India managed to get only two and lost the wicket of Ravichandran Ashwin while he attempted a non-existent double off the last ball to seal the game in India's favour.
The West Indies captain, however, said having lost the series already, he would have liked to sign off with a win.
"Obviously, happy with the result, but a win would have been the icing on the cake. We would have loved to win against a higher-rung team. It would have given us some points. Our goal is to make it to the top five in Test cricket," Sammy said.
"To win a match like this, we need to bat well in both innings. But (in the end) it was a good game of cricket."
Sammy said India's attempt to overhaul the target gave the visitors hope of an unlikely win.
"When (Virat) Kohli and (MS) Dhoni were batting, there were about 15 overs left and about 50-55 runs to win. Ravi (Rampaul) was bowling well, along with (Devendra) Bishoo. They (Indians) decided to go for the runs but in the process lost Kohli and Ishant. They were going for the runs, but we also had an opportunity to win the game."
Resuming at the overnight score of 81-2, West Indies completely lost the plot on a fifth-day Wankhede track, which gave some assistance to the spinners, as they lost eight wickets for a mere 53 runs in the action-packed pre-lunch session.
"We were hoping to get about 300-plus when we came to the ground this morning. But after we lost seven or eight wickets, we had to go back to the dressing room and plan out the game. We didn't bat well but we kept believing that we could get a draw or a win," Sammy said.
The Trinidadian, who did not bowl in India's second innings due to a sore hamstring, said he did not expect 17 wickets to fall on the last day on a pitch where only 22 wickets had fallen in the first four days.
"I didn't foresee that. But it was a disappointing performance with the bat. Some of the shots we played were uncalled for. You have to be prepared to bat for a long time," Sammy said.
"But the way we fought back with me not bowling, Bishoo bowling on one leg, (Marlon) Samuels bowling 20 consecutive overs and Ravi and Fidel (Edwards) doing well, it's heartening. The bowlers showed fight and that's the positive we can take from here."
Asked about his injury, Sammy said, "I had a bad hamstring which was sore and I decided not to risk it (by bowling), with the one-dayers coming up."
Sammy also praised India's latest spin duo of Pragyan Ojha and Ashwin, who grabbed 20 and 22 wickets respectively in the series.
"They (Ojha and Ashwin) did well for India. Ashwin not only bowled well but did well with the bat too. Both have an extremely bright future for India."
Sammy also expressed satisfaction with the progress of the West Indies team.
"We have progressed well. We dominated the two Tests against Sri Lanka, did well against Pakistan and competed well against India. The players now have the belief that they can do well."