Sachin Tendulkar fell to a controversial lbw on Day 2 of the Eden Test and Shillingford was the benefactor of the dubious decision
Even as a pall of gloom descended on the Eden Gardens after retiring legend Sachin Tendulkar became victim of a dubious decision in the first Test on Thursday, West Indies spinner Shane Shillingford said his “job was to appeal”.
Off-spinner Shillingford returned figures of 4/130 on Day 2 and one of his wickets included Tendulkar. It turned out to be a controversial dismissal as TV replays suggested that the ball was climbing and would have missed the stump.
Asked whether he was happy with the way Tendulkar was dismissed, Shillingford said: “That’s a funny question… In terms of, at the spur of the moment, it’s every bowler’s reaction to appeal one time. But when I got in and I had seen it and stuff… At the end of the day, the umpire made his decision. It’s my job to appeal, so these things happen in the game.”
Rohit Sharma stamped his class by hitting a sparkling 127 on debut as India recovered from a top-order collapse to take a firm grip of the Test with a 120-run first-innings lead.
Ravichandran Ashwin (92) was also going strong at stumps. But Shillingford said they’re still hopeful as the wicket had “eased out”.
“The match is still wide open. It’s only the second day, tomorrow is a very important day for us. We have to come out and stick to our plans and be patient. When we get them out, it will depend on how we will bat and stuff.
“Definitely (the wicket had eased out…) After lunch it really slowed down a bit. That’s when you had to be a little tighter as opposed to more attacking. The batsmen, they were really patient as well and put away the bad balls.”
He said things did not go their way as Sharma and Ashwin batted really well.
“Nothing wrong with us… That’s cricket. Sometimes you get early wickets and some batsmen come to consolidate and that’s when you have to dig deep. I thought Sharma and Ashwin, they bat absolutely well, they stuck to the task and bad balls, they put away. That’s the kind of wicket; they know their wickets, they handled it really well.
Shillingford further said it was a proud moment for him to do well against the Indian batsmen known for their skills against the spinners.
“It feels absolutely wonderful. It’s going to be a challenge… The Indians are very, very, very, very good players of spin. It is a wonderful achievement for me in terms of the wickets I got early on. Also, the wicket was not an easy one to bowl on. It’s a wicket where you have to put the ball in the right areas and be patient.”
Having bowled on the first day, Shillingford said he had a fair idea of what was going to come.
“I assessed the wicket pretty quick in terms of how I would come and bowl the next day. I thought that yesterday and earlier today, it was jumping a bit more and as the day proceeded, it got slower. It’s a wicket where you have to be all the time thinking, how to bowl on it,” he added.