We will look to bounce back: Sammy
West Indies troubled the famed Indian batting in the first innings to take a 95-run first innings lead but a spineless display by the batsmen in the second essay meant India fought back for a five-wicket win and lead the three-match series 1-0. Sammy said they let the Indians dictate too much in the Delhi Test, something they need to overcome for the Eden Test beginning on Monday.
"Before the start of the series we had said we will play fearless cricket. Despite the result, we did, basically control the first two days of the first Test, it took a lot of experience from that Indian batting line-up to bounce back," Sammy said.
"Maybe had we batted better in the second innings it would have been a different ball game. The camp is not down, we still have the belief that once again we could win the key moments of the game," he added. Citing example of the recently-concluded Australia and South Africa Test where the former were bowled out for 47 in the second innings to lose the match, Sammy said: "We saw in Test how one session can affect the entire match. It is about capitalising the key moments."
"Hopefully we can do it in this Test match and bounce back. We never said it would be easy coming to India. It is difficult but not impossible. For us, losing 15 wickets for 220 runs was the key period of the match," he said. Highlighting the bright spots of the first Test, Sammy said, "It is important that we play well in all aspects. We bowled out India for under 220."
Sammy further said Shivnarine Chanderpaul with his first innings 118 showed that they can dominate Indian spinners. "The way Chanderpaul batted, got a hundred, we showed when you are positive to spin, it is effective. The team should look to do that more often, be cautious, show them the respect they deserve, but look to not go into our shell," Chanderpaul said.
"We let them dictate too much to us and it took the experience of Chanderpaul to show us how to play on the pitch. We hope to take a page out of his book and execute it. During the series in the West Indies as well, we pointed out that we can`t let spinners dictate to us. So often, a guy comes and settles into his bowling. We will look to counterattack, but also be more selective because it is Test cricket and we still need to bat time," he added. Stressing on the need to play fearless cricket despite being down in the series, the skipper said: "I would love to see the ball passing by the batsman`s neck, but in India, we know what we expect to get."
"Last time, we bowled straighter and were patient during the onslaught by Sehwag and Gambhir in the first innings. We showed we had the belief, the method of working out the batsmen. Playing fearless cricket means that we are not going to bogged down whether we are bowling to Sachin or facing Ishant," he said. A medium-pacer in the West Indies bowling line-up, Sammy said the key to success against the aggressive Indian duo of Sehwag and Gambhir was to be consistent on slow Indian track.
"We have learnt from Bangladesh that normally the new ball in the subcontinent goes for runs. Sehwag will attack and Gambhir will support him. We can be more disciplined in line, let them hit good deliveries for fours. In that spirit, we created opportunities. Had Gambhir been caught in the first over or Sehwag not been bowled off a no ball, they could have been 20 for two," he added.
VVS Laxman has a splendid record at the Eden with his 281 in the second innings against Australia helping India bounce back to win the match way back in 2001 and Sammy said they would look to get the Hyderabadi out cheaper. "Hope (wicketkeeper) Carlton (Baugh) takes a good catch again. We also know he gets out early in the first innings and we can hope to put an end in the second innings very early. May be I will be invisible and hold his bat as the bowler is bowling," he joked.
Sammy signed out saying that being a Sachin Tendulkar admirer he would love to see the Indian maestro notch his 100th ton against Australia and not against them. "Have said it before, much as I admire Sachin, I would like him score it against Australia," he smiled.