New Delhi: West Indies captain Darren Sammy on Wednesday said he was happy with the performance of his young team despite losing the first Test against India.
"It was a damn good display by our team here. We were aware how tough it is to beat India at home. We played some good cricket. Had we scored some more runs in the second innings it would have been a different ball game," said Sammy after his team went down by five-wickets at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi.
Asked if his team hoped to pull off an unlikely win when Fidel Edwards removed Rahul Dravid early in the morning session, Sammy said: "We always had hope. Cricket is a game of shifting fortunes and glorious uncertainties. So getting the wicket early gave us some hope. But (VVS) Laxman and Sachin (Tendulkar) took the game away from us."
Sammy also praised the medium pacers for their fine performance on a low and slow Kotla track.
"I think we stuck to our plan and played well. The bowlers have performed well and they have done an excellent job since coach Gibson took over last year. The bowlers have worked very hard and we have showed today that we can even put the strong Indian batting line-up in trouble."
"Tendulkar and (Rahul) Dravid are the two most experienced batsmen in world cricket and I think we kept them under check. We stuck to our plan and I don't think we could have done anything different," he said.
Sammy lamented that his batsmen could have done better in the second innings, when the batting folded up for just 180 after having scored a decent 304 in the first.
"When you play against a top team, you want to create the opportunity to win. We did that in the first innings, but did not bat well in the second. The pitch played much better on the third and fourth day. We want improvement, we have to look to create opportunities and hopefully cash in. We believe we can win matches here," he said.
Sammy while admitting that the batsmen are vulnerable to spin said that in the next two Tests West Indies have to be patient.
"Playing spin has been an issue for West Indies batsmen. Whenever the spinners came into play we went into a defensive mode. I wish we were more positive against the spinners. So we need to find ways to score against spin and not let them get us out. Shivnarine Chanderpaul showed how to play the spinners and be successful," he said.
Sammy said batting coach the legendary Desmond Haynes, who was a great player of spin, is helping the team to take on the tweakers.
"He has been working hard. We have been out mostly lbw, playing with our pad instead of bat. If we can play more with the bat, that can help us eliminate some mistakes," he said.
On his young batting line-up, Sammy said: "That line-up posted scores of over 300 in recent times. We still have a young batting line up with Chanderpaul leading the pack. Kirk (Edwards) has two hundreds in four Test matches. It is just a matter of going out there and applying themselves. We have two young openers who have six or so Tests between themselves."
Sammy also said opener Adrian Barath could be considered for the next match in Kolkata.
Asked if he sensed a desperation in Tendulkar, who denied a single to Laxman before being dismissed by leggie Devendra Bishoo two balls later, Sammy said: "Actually when he turned down the single, I went to Bishoo and told him 'lets try to go round the wicket and force him to sweep off the rough.' But Bishoo said give him two more balls (from over the wicket) and he got him out! The way they were batting, Sachin really wanted to get the hundred but unfortunately for him he could not. Like I said, before the game, I would love to get him 100 hundreds but I prefer to watch India vs. Australia, sitting on my couch and cheering for Sachin."