Port Of Spain: Dismissed for a paltry 196 in their first innings, West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood said his side will now look to build pressure on the Indian batsmen tomorrow to make a come back in the second cricket Test.
West Indies skipper Jason Holder won the toss and elected to bat first, only to see his team being bowled out for just 196 runs but Blackwood defended the decision and said they should have batted for long period.
“Normally at Sabina Park, the wicket is going to have a little bit in it for the pace bowlers for a couple hours. This track is different and has some grass so they will get assistance right through the match. It wasn’t a wrong decision to bat first but we just didn’t bat for a long period. I guess next time we will have to do that,” said Blackwood.
“We weren’t in any hurry to score runs. But you cannot just go there and keep losing wickets and not score runs. You have to go there with a positive mind set and any scoring opportunity that comes your way, you need to take it. So that’s what I did today,” he added.
Blackwood scored a counter-attacking run-a-ball 62, and his partnership with Marlon Samuels helped West Indies counter the Indian bowling after they had been reduced to 7/3.
“It is always good to play in front of my home crowd. This is the second time I am playing for the West Indies in front of them. I was feeling confident but I was also a bit tentative at the start because you always want to make runs at your home ground,” he said.
“So it was a good feeling getting some runs today and I was happy that I was able to help the team’s cause and get back in touch. And that is just normally how I play, ever since I started playing. So that’s my natural game. I try to score my first 20-25 runs quickly and tried to use the pace of the ball,” he added.
R Ashwin’s 5-52, his second successive five-wicket haul on tour and his 18th overall in 34 Tests, and opener Lokesh Rahul’s unbeaten 75 put India in a commanding position as they reached 126/1 at stumps on day one.
“This India attack is a world-class attack and you have the Test no.1 bowler in Ashwin. He is very experienced and a very good bowler. The seamers are very consistent with their line and length, and they are bowling to a plan. So they are playing on our minds,” Blackwood said.
“As batsmen we have to go and counter that, try to go against that plan, assess conditions and score runs at the same time. So this is a very tough challenge against a very good attack.
“Tomorrow we just need to worry about getting ten wickets. So the boys will go home and have a good night’s rest, come back fresh tomorrow morning and have a go at them as we try to build some pressure,” he said.