India’s five-pronged attack failed to grab six opposition wickets on the final day as the West Indies managed to eke out a draw in the second Test here but captain Virat Kohli defended his bowlers, saying that they had given their best under the circumstances.
The Indians dominated the Test for four days, under sun and cloud cover, at the Sabina Park with both bat and ball. Yet, they fell short of the victory marker on the final day when they needed to take six wickets in 98 overs.
“Testing day. That’s what Test cricket is all about. It is a pity we lost most of fourth day’s play. But that is no excuse and credit to the way West Indies played. When you lose a Test and are behind in the second one, it takes something special to save the match,” Kohli said after the match ended in a draw.
“Our bowlers tried our best, we created some chances, but they did not go to hand. In the first four days, the wicket was very active. The hardness of the ball was a factor. On these pitches when the ball is not hard enough, play goes dead for 25-30 overs. But I am pretty pleased with the effort the boys put in after tea as well. Everybody put in a last push,” he added.
A five-pronged attack comes handy on such days, but Roston Chase’s magnificent hundred defied the Indian bowlers.
In the past too, there have been such instances when the Indian attack was not able to complete the job. Johannesburg (2013) and Wellington (2014) come to mind. But that was the Mahendra Singh Dhoni era wherein India rarely went in with five bowlers.
“We don’t want to walk away from the field wishing we had the fifth bowler. If five bowlers have given their best, and the opposition have done well, you just doff your hat to them (the West Indians),” Kohli said.
After winning the first Test at Antigua, Kohli had re-iterated his plan to play five bowlers, that too without changing much in his attack.
“If you have just won a Test match in the manner we did in Antigua, it does not leave much room for change,” he had said.