India's decision to settle for an easy draw rather than push for a win in the third Test against the West Indies may have surprised many but coach Duncan Fletcher said it was 'commonsense' to not go for runs on a difficult Windsor Park pitch.
Chasing 180 to win from 47 overs, India needed 84 runs from the final 15 mandatory overs but gave up the chase. "It wasn't difficult to get set but it was very difficult to score runs. How could we score 5-6 runs per over when scoring three runs an over on that pitch wasn't easy," said Fletcher at the post-match press conference.
"We have seen through the match that unless and until the bowling was really bad, it wasn't easy to score. You can't play square of the wicket and that's a huge advantage to the bowling side."
Fletcher claimed his side decided to shut the shop after they saw Suresh Raina struggle on the pitch. "We sent Suresh up the order but even he found it very difficult. If a left-hander, against a leg-spin bowling is struggling, there was no point. It's difficult to score four runs an over in Test cricket.
"If he had scored easily and hit a couple of fours, we would have gone for it. But both Vijay and Dravid said scoring runs in the middle wasn't easy. If batsmen who have batted for 22 overs and yet made only 40 runs are struggling, how could you chase five runs an over. It makes commonsense to me."