I was up for the challenge, says Shane Shillingford
Mumbai: West Indies off-spinner Shane Shillingford, who has been the stand-out performer for the visiting team in the ongoing two-match Test series, said he was geared up for the challenge to play India in its own backyard.
"When I left home, I was up for a challenge coming to India. I knew it was a spinning track but also knew at the back of mind that the Indian batsmen are batting pretty well. I knew it was not going to be an easy work. It was a lot of hard work and stuff. I enjoyed every moment of it," he said.
The 30-year-old has picked up five-wicket hauls in five consecutive innings and credited his stint with former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq.
"I prepared the same way. Bowled a lot of balls... Before coming to India, I was doing something with Saqlain, perhaps that would have helped me a lot," he said.
The Dominican, who finished with figures of 5 for 179 in the first innings here, said retiring great Sachin Tendulkar used the feet well against him.
"I think as a batsman, he uses his feet very well. Coming back and forth and getting to the pitch of the ball, that is what really works for him. He has been doing it for so many years, he only got better and better," he said.
Tendulkar scored a majestic 74 in what could be his final innings before he was dismissed by Narsingh Deonarine, and Shillingford said his team-mate bowled well to get the wicket.
"It wasn`t like a definite plan (to bowl Deonarine). As the game progressed, we wanted to rotate other bowlers. When he got the wicket, we told him he is part of history now. Maybe that was his (Tendulkar) last inning now and wanted to play well.
"I thought he (Deonarine) bowled well to him and was fortunate enough to get him out. After we came to the dressing room, we told him job well done in getting the master out," he said.
The Caribbean side was staring at another innings defeat in the rubber as it trailed by 270. They were reduced to 43/3 by the end of the second day.
Shillingford was hopeful that the batsmen could apply themselves and bat for two days to bail them out.
"Three wickets are down but that is how the game goes. We have to bat for two days. There is still a lot of batting to come. It is a matter of application and the guys are getting together and get the job done," he said.
"On the first day, the wicket was on the downside, the ball was doing a bit and the ball was spinning more. As the day progressed, it started slowing down a bit. I still think it is a wicket where our batsmen can come and get big runs.
"It is a matter of application, once your players have (settled) on the wicket, you can get good runs from the wicket," he added.
Shillingford would have also bagged the wicket of Rohit Sharma but for the no-ball and he said, "I knew he was coming, so the extra effort is what brought me over the line. Unfortunately that is how the game goes."
Sharma, who remained unbeaten on 111, was batting on 85 then.