Opening batsman Abhinav Mukund finally came good in his debut series with a gritty 48-run knock in India's second innings of the second cricket Test against the West Indies here on Friday. The southpaw thanked his senior team mate Rahul Dravid for his valuable contribution.
Mukund, under pressure to perform after failing in his debut match in Jamaica and in the first innings here, forged a 63-run stand with Dravid on day four to set the base of a 240-run lead at close of play.
"Having batted with Dravid today, you learn a lot. He is gutsy, he keeps talking to himself in the centre. He kept telling me watch the ball, watch the ball," said Mukund.
Mukund revealed that while batting he also took inspiration from opposition batsmen Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels, who scored 37 and 78, respectively, in the West Indies' total of 190.
"Sitting at forward short leg and watching (Marlon) Samuels and (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul bat, I took a leaf out of their book.
"The two were playing too late. Chanderpaul was leaving a lot of balls which were close to the stumps. I too wanted to play as late and leave as many as possible."
The Tamil Nadu batsman admitted that his debut series has been tough so far.
"We (both openers) didn't have enough time to adjust as we came three days before the first Test. It has been tough, I can be honest about it. The bounce is really steep. But I feel it is good for me that I have played in tough conditions."
Mukund described his feelings ahead of the first Test in Jamaica.
"I didn't sleep much on the night before the first Test. My body clock wasn't set either. I remember the first over I played in Test cricket. I was nervous but I didn't try to do anything about it."