Lamenting the time lost to rain on the fourth day, Anil Kumble rued the result in the second Test, but also credited the West Indies batsmen for their remarkable fightback. Kumble also praised pacer Mohammad Shami for his performance in only his second Test after returning from injury.
Speaking after the match, Kumble was evidently disappointed with the result. “Obviously we wanted to win this Test match. Yesterday, I thought, we were in a very good position and credit to the West Indies batsmen, the way they batted.
“Yesterday, the time lost was very crucial for us, because we were in great momentum and the conditions were such that, it could have been different if we had probably bowled yesterday. There was loss of play, more than 100 overs in this Test match. But all those factors mattered. In the end, credit to the West Indian batsmen, how they batted today and their application as well,” he said.
Kumble also reserved special praise for Roston Chase who equaled Sir Gary Sobers' 50-year-old record with his five-fer and that gritty century.
“Chase's approach today was very good. He looked to attack when needed to and blocked literally every ball, so kept our bowlers at bay, which was obviously disappointing from the outside. As I mentioned, I think all their batters, right from Blackwood, Holder and Dowrich, all of them applied themselves and it's something that we also have to sit down and analyse as to how we're going to get the last five wickets because in this series they have certainly contributed,” Kumble said.
Kumble refused to fault the late declaration on day 3 as a reason for the result, and while there were wide-spread attacks on the decision, in retrospect, India did the right decision. Asked about it, Kumble said,
No, I don't think so. You can't really look at the forecast and take decisions.
“Yes, you strategise slightly differently. Having said that, we wanted to bat once because irrespective if you'd have declared probably at the end of second day with 160 on the board, you may have to have batted today. It's all nice to now sit and say when we should have declared and what if, but I thought we played really good cricket, we were dominant right throughout and today, you know the change in momentum happened and credit to the West Indian batsmen,” Kumble explained.
Kumble also praised pacer Mohammad Shami who has come back from a long injury layoff, but managed to get back into the groove so early on the return.
“I'm really happy for Shami. Coming back after 18 months is not easy. The way he has come back and bowled aggressively, yesterday I thought he bowled the best spell that I have seen, a fast bowler running in and right through the Test. Even today in the last session he was running and bowling at 140,” he said.
India have faced trouble wrapping up the lower order after they have cheaply dismissed the top, and skipper Kohli had talked about it before the first Test. But it was the lower order that once again proved to be what stood between India and certain victory yesterday.
Speaking about it, Kumble said, “There's nothing as tail or top order. You try and put together a plan for every batsman. You try and execute that. What we have done really well is knock the top off really quickly. That is certainly something we will discuss, as to how we get the last three or four.”