Windies plan to "break Indian hearts"
Mumbai, India, Nov 24, CMC - West Indies captain Darren Sammy intends to make Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar fight for his 100th International century with two days remaining in the third and final Test.
Tendulkar was unbeaten on 67 as India made a strong reply to reach 281 for three at the close on the third day after West Indies had amassed 590 all out in their first innings.
“What I foresee is a full house tomorrow (Friday) with the master (Sachin) on 60-70 odd. But with that we may have quite a few broken hearts tomorrow. The match is nicely poised. He is about to cross a massive landmark, a 100th hundred. But also we have an opportunity to break a few hearts,” Sammy said after the end of the day's play.
“It should be an interesting day tomorrow. Hopefully, we would stick to a line and length and be disciplined to break a few Indian hearts,” he added.
Sammy said the team had worked on a plan to restrict the 38-year-old, who had at one stage raced to 38 in 57 balls.
“We have our game plan, our bowling to a field. I did my job and other bowlers did theirs. We had an opportunity to get him out but unfortunately we couldn’t. Tomorrow is another day. We have our plans and we would try to go out and execute it. I do admire him a lot, but when playing against him we want to get him out,” he added.
With India still trailing by 309 runs, Sammy sensed an opportunity to go for a win on a wicket, which has attracted criticism for having nothing for the bowlers.
“We got three wickets, they batted well. But we came back well in the end. It could have been five down but you could say we missed a few opportunities. We will come back tomorrow and try to put in a better performance, be more disciplined in our line and length and hopefully when we create chances, take them.”
Sammy felt that a lead of anything over 150 would be good.
“If we put pressure, get a few wickets, there is still a lot of time left in the match. Having scored almost 600 if we have a 200-150-run lead, we could come back to bat and look to set a target. It depends on how quickly we get the wickets.
“From Day 1 we saw that it was a good batting wicket. We saw how the Indian bowlers toiled for their wickets. We are prepared to do that. Hopefully we will get more wickets."
On his duel with Indian opener Virender Sehwag, whom he dismissed for the third time in as many innings, the 27-year-old St. Lucian felt the Delhi batsman’s aggressive nature gave him an opportunity to take his wicket.
“I bowl first change and I am not as quick as the other two (Fidel Edwards and Ravi Rampaul). After the first Test, it looks like Sehwag wants to get me out of the attack. I don’t mind him playing a few shots. That’s how he has played all his career and bashed a few.
“With him playing his shots, I keep telling myself that it presents me an opportunity to get him out. So far in the last three innings, I have done that. I got him three out of three times. I'm happy with that.”
Sammy, who has been the West Indies’ most successful bowler in this series and one of the most successful in the world this year, added that the opposition batsmen's mistake of underestimating him makes his job easier.
“My job is to be the workhorse, bowl a lot of overs. I guess the mistake they do is that they are more relaxed when facing me. It helps me get wickets. But I believe in my ability, I understand what I have to do in this set-up.”
Sammy praised Rahul Dravid, who crossed the landmark of 13,000 Test runs during his innings of 82.
“Rahul, like Sachin, is an exceptional player. What he has done for India and the way he has batted has been good. He has scored 13,000 runs, average is 50 plus. It’s a good achievement. (Not for nothing) he is known as ‘The Wall’.”
Asked why he did not declare at the overnight 575-9, Sammy said: “The wicket was fresh on Day 1 and we were 100 for no loss. Wickets in India are tricky but I won’t let them trick me. They are good to bat. There is no freshness.”