Mumbai: West Indies on Sunday saluted their own legendary batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who will touch the milestone of playing 150 Tests when the Caribbean side will clash with India from Thursday to salvage a draw in the two-match series.
The second Test will be 200th for legendary Sachin Tendulkar, who will bid adieu to the game after the match. West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson said they have a lot of respect for Chanderpaul and it is great to have him in their dressing room.
"Sachin is playing his 200th game. He is a legend in India and around the world. Shiv is also a legend in our dressing room. Whilst we salute and celebrate Sachin, we also salute and celebrate Shiv. It is a wonderful achievement for him to be around so long and still enjoying his cricket," Gibson told reporters after team practice.
"He is same on the field and same around the dressing room. We are very happy to have him around in our dressing room and make his 150th appearance for West Indies," he said.
Gibson said their performance in the first Test was not reflective of their true potential and they have a lot more to offer on the cricket field. "We showed glimpses of what we are capable of in Kolkata but not for sustained period. We would have been playing today. The things that we did wrong, we are trying to put those things right. We know in India we have to bat long. We have to put runs on the board. 400 minimum in the first innings really.
"We were a little bit rusty coming in but we are not going to use that as an excuse. I expect that you will see a much better showing from this West Indies team in the next Test match," Gibson said.
Asked if he thinks, going with five batsmen in the first was a better option, Gibson said, "When you look at the result, you sort of want to think that way. That line up, because that won us the last 3-4 Test matches that we played, and we back those guys. That is something we obviously have to look at going into the next Test. We have to look at what combination to put out to make sure that we win. We still believe strongly that we can win here."
Asked if the occasion of Sachin Tendulkar playing his farewell Test series got better of the contest, Gibson replied in the negative.
"I don't think the occasion got better of the contest. We are all paying a tribute to a legend but at the end of the day we are very aware of what we are here to do. We didn't do it as well as we should have done," he said.
Gibson said they were impressed with Indian pacer Mohammad Shami, who had a highly successful debut, but believes that the paceman would not be a danger in Mumbai.
"Shami, we don't know much about him and he bowled very well. He was very accurate. He got the swing in late. He did very well on his debut. We have to learn from that match. I don't think the pitch here is going to be abrasive as the one in Kolkata.
"I don't think that reverse swing will play much of a role as it did in Kolkata but we have to wait and see. We have batsmen who have faced reverse swing before and got runs.
"Chris Gayle, Shiv, Marlon Samuels have all faced reverse swing before. They haven't faced Mohammed Shami before, so that is something we will have to get used to," he said.
Offspinner Shane Shillingford was the best performer for the visitors in the first match, with a six-wicket haul and asked if they relied too heavily on him, Gibson said the other bowlers did not chip in.
"We had couple of guys who didn't perform. Shane was our most effective bowler and your most effective bowler bowls the most overs, that is normal. Tino and Sheldon (Cotterell) also have a role to play when they come in for their short spells to be a little more accurate.
The 30-year old Shillingford scalped 6 wickets for 167 runs in 55 overs. "He bowled 50 overs, so he is just a little bit sore. That happens in cricket. We have got a very good medical staff that will look after him and get him back for the next Test," Gibson said.
He praised the Dominican spinner and said that he is a difficult bowler on any surface. "They (India) don't know him. It is similar to us facing Shami. We didn't know much about Shami, they didn't know much about Shane. And he is a quality spinner and he has shown that. Somewhere near 50 wickets in 11 Test matches, so he is a quality bowler."
Asked if West Indies is missing the giant fast bowlers, who were lethal, Gibson said, "We don't have the 6'7 giants like (Joel) Garner and people like that but you will see the emergence of Sheldon Cotterell and people like that. I thought he had a good debut obviously not in the same way Shami did. I think he had a good debut."
"There is Shannon Gabriel who has been asked to replace Kemar Roach. We are missing Kemar, we are missing Ravi Rampaul from this group. Jason Holder has made his debut in One-day and T20 international cricket and done very well. There are few more fast bowlers coming around. I think in the next few years, all things being equal we will be able to get back somewhere, where it was," he said.
Pacer Kemar Roach was ruled out of the remainder of the series due to a shoulder injury and Gibson said, "we came here and we knew of the shoulder injury, we didn't know the severity of it. So to find out that he is not going to play obviously is disappointing, because he has been one of our key bowlers in this format in the last two years."