Abhinav Mukund revealed he had worked on his technique during the tour of the Caribbean.
“I used to shuffle forward a lot in India. Now I am learning the back and across movement. This has really helped,” he said.
The left-handed opener impressed during his 62 in the Indian first innings here on the third day of the third Test.
The manner in which he has handled the short-pitched bowling from Fidel Edwards has been particularly impressive.
Mukund said playing on the matting tracks in his formative years in Chennai had helped him cope with the rising deliveries from the pacemen better.
He appeared comfortable while essaying his back-footed strokes too. Mukund said, “In my school days, we played a lot of our cricket on matting. That helped me play better off my back foot. My father always used to tell me that in international cricket I would have to face a lot more short-pitched deliveries.”
Mukund was disappointed on missing out on a century. “It was the kind of delivery (from leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo) that I would not normally get out to.”
The left-hander said he was happy to be part of the Test squad for the tour of England. “It has always been my dream to play for India and perform well. It’s a great honour. I will give it my best shot.”
West Indies captain Darren Sammy said he was proud of the way his bowlers fought. “We were a man down. We had only three specialist bowlers. Still we picked up six wickets during the day on a flat track. We made India fight for every run. Our performance with the ball gives me hope.”
The skipper himself seems to be battling a knee problem. He was seen limping on Friday evening. “I still do not know what the problem really is. My entire body is hurting,” he confessed. Sammy said Ravi Rampaul, who has recovered from illness, will be able to bowl again on Sunday. “The umpires told me that,” he added.
The West Indies captain was appreciative of the effort from the part-time bowlers. “We had a talk in the morning. I told the part-timers that they would have to chip in. Shiv (Chanderpaul) and Kirk (Edwards) did a fair job.”
On his long and expressive celebration after the dismissal of Suresh Raina, Sammy said, “It was a big decision to take the second new ball. It was a big ask for Fidel (Edwards) who had done a lot of bowling to come running in at the end of the day. When he removed Raina, we were all very happy.”
Although disappointed with his team’s batting, Sammy, however, was pleased with Carlton Baugh’s display with the bat and wicket-keeping gloves. “He showed character. We always knew he could bat. But the manner in which he has kept wickets in this series has been impressive.” Hindu