captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni
elected to offer words of comfort to the West Indies after seeing his side record a 63-run victory in the first Test
"I will not make the mistake by saying that this opposition is not good enough," he said.
"Every batsman can score runs. Their first seven batters have the
talent that equally matches that of the current Indian team."
Dhoni, the World Cup and Indian Premier League-winning captain, was
particularly impressed by the contribution of West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo
Indian pair Harbhajan Singh
and Amit Mishra proved to be the tourists' match-winners, but Bishoo also shone, picking up seven wickets.
"Bishoo kept bowling in the right areas," said Dhoni. "There was a fair
degree of turn in the first innings, but as the game progressed, that
turn was not there.
"The Indian spinners found it a bit
difficult because of the strong breeze across the field. But as the game
went on, they adapted well and began bowling better."
the match Rahul Dravid and Test newcomer Praveen Kumar caught the eye
for the visitors, but Dhoni singled out other members of his side for
"Our lower-half batsmen for the past year and a half have been contributing well," he said.
"We were 85 for six in the first innings before Harbhajan, along with
Suresh Raina, bailed us out. In the second innings, Mishra made a
Harbhajan and Raina added 146 for the seventh wicket in the first innings to help India reach 246.
Mishra and Dravid then put on 56 for the ninth wicket to take India to
252 in their second innings, leaving West Indies to chase 326 for
"But for that stand (Raina and Harbhajan), we could have been all out for 150," Dhoni said.
"We were able to get more runs and thus gather a handy lead. Then in
the second innings, we could stretch the lead to 300-plus.
"Three-hundred was always going to be a difficult score to chase in the
fourth innings. They were off to a flyer, but wickets always slow down
the momentum, and we were able to apply pressure on their middle order."
Dhoni was also fulsome in his praise of Dravid's batting in
the second innings, as well as the bowling of Kumar throughout the
"Dravid has been an exceptional batsman for India," he said.
"That he played over 250 deliveries showed he was very patient. He made the bowlers pitch in his areas, and was brilliant.
"Praveen is a very skilful bowler and can swing it either way. He
doesn't have the pace, but he can swing the ball, and confuse the
batsmen if they needed to play or leave a delivery.
great character after having been stopped from bowling in the first
innings. When you are switching from the 10-over format to 20 to 25
overs in an innings, you have to be careful.
"Importantly, he backed his strength and picked up wickets in the second innings as well."