Mumbai, Nov 26: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the fifth day's play in the third Test against the West Indies on Saturday was "superb," though he rued that India failed to get over the line, the match eventually ending in a draw as India fell short by one run.
"It was a superb final day and again it was proven that the match is not yours until it's in your kitty. We lost wickets at the wrong time and they also played good cricket," Dhoni said after an exciting final day where his team, chasing 243 runs in the second innings, finished at 242-9 to see the match end in a thrilling draw.
West Indies, 81-2 overnight, lost their last eight wickets for only 43 runs, but India too struggled in their chase on a day that saw 17 wickets fall.
Asked whether he expected to take eight wickets in the first session, the India skipper said he wanted to see tracks offering turn from the opening day of a match itself, rather than final day.
"Last time when we played at the CCI (Brabourne Stadium), the ball turned less as the match progressed. This time we wanted to start safely and didn't want to concede too many runs. Luckily we got wickets and didn't concede runs. So we could put some fielders in catching positions. Having said that, I would expect tracks here to start offering turn from the first day evening rather waiting till the fifth day."
Dhoni, who has been rested for the upcoming five-match ODI series against the Caribbean side starting on October 29 at Cuttack, termed the break a "much-needed one."
"It is a much-needed break. I have been playing continuous cricket for quite sometime now. More than the physical break, I am looking forward to the mental break before the Australia tour," he said.
Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin, who won the man-of-the-match as well as man-of-the-series award for his brilliant all-round show, said his plan in the final over did not work.
"I wanted to squeeze a few boundaries when the field came up but unfortunately couldn't get them. Off the last two deliveries, the plan was to defend the first one and go after the last ball. The plan didn't work."
India spinners Pragyan Ojha and Ashwin engineered the dramatic West Indies collapse on Saturday, as Ojha bagged 6-47 and off-spinner Ashwin took 4-34 to dismiss the West Indies for only 134 in the morning session.
"As the ball got old, it bounced and stopped. Ojha really bowled well and built the pressure. I chipped in at the back end as well."
Questioned about the dream start to his Test career, Ashwin said, "I will be taking confidence from this series but will have to really work hard on different facets of my game."
West Indies captain Darren Sammy said that the final day' play was a "great advertisement for Test cricket. We have watched the South Africa versus Australia Test series recently, and now we have had this Test match."
Sammy praised his bowlers, saying that he was desperate for a "win or a tie."
"(Devendra) Bishoo bowled more than 50 overs on one leg. He showed that he is a tough character. Marlon (Samuels) and Ravi (Rampaul) also put in a lot of effort. In the end, we had a chance of winning."
Sammy felt that as a bowling unit, his team had improved consistently and the testimony to that getting a first-innings lead twice during the series.
"Our batsmen have also done well, Bravo (Darren), Kraigg (Brathwaite) but we need to be more consistent. We had one bad session in the series that took the game away from us."