Fudadin - We batted & bowled better
Shimoga, India - India A's decision to bowl first after winning the toss against West Indies A in Mysore had surprised many, including West Indies A skipper Kirk Edwards and particularly Assad Fudadin, who felt the Indians should have done some homework.
Cheteshwar Pujara, the India A captain and Lalchand Rajput, the coach were believed to have been guided by what they had heard of conditions in Mysore.
The think tank supposed that their seamers would get some kind of assistance from the pitch at the Gangotri Glades but as it turned out, the game belonged to the spinners, with each of the three specialist slow bowlers taking a five-wicket haul apiece.
That two of them, Veerasammy Permaul and Nikita Miller, belonged to the West Indies, proved to be the decisive factor in the end, with the visitors storming to a 162-run victory.
Fudadin, the left-handed batsman from Guyana, who last played a Test match for the West Indies in 2012 against New Zealand felt the Indians missed a trick when they fielded three medium-pacers and inserted the Caribbean islanders in to bat.
"India A fought very well and we had to work really hard for the win. But at the end of the day, we batted better, bowled better and fielded better, so we obviously deserved to win. We outplayed them but they tried hard," Fudadin told Cricbuzz in an exclusive chat.
The southpaw however felt that the hosts should have been better prepared than they appeared to be in the course of the four days at the picturesque ground in Mysore.
"We came prepared and knew that there would be a lot of spin waiting for us. India A should have done their homework and maybe had one extra spinner," Fudadin said.
The 28-year-old middle-order batsman served a timely notice to the selectors, with the West Indies scheduled to tour India in November, scoring an unbeaten 86 and holding up the lower order.
The highlight of his innings was his footwork against the spinners, especially Parvez Rasool and his ability to bat with the tail.
But Fudadin is not willing to get too far ahead of himself by thinking of a return trip to India, which would see the Calypso men play against Sachin Tendulkar in his historic 200th Test.
"I am taking everything step by step. My job is to score runs and the selection panel will do their job. If you score runs, the selectors will notice. I am working my way back and fighting hard to regain my place in the West Indies team."
Fudadin, besides playing for the West Indies, had harboured dreams of travelling to India to play cricket and impressed with his first ever knock on Indian soil, attracting attention immediately with his solid technique and quick footwork on a two-paced pitch.
But the invariable bounce on the 22-yard strip was not the only problem the stylish left-hander had to deal with.
"It was a challenge coping with the time difference between the West Indies and here. When it was cricket time here, it was sleeping time there. So I took time to get acclimatised.
"It was certainly not easy batting on that Mysore track; some balls would skid through, some would keep low and the bounce was uneven, so yes, I am happy with the way I settled in and played," Fudadin said.
Fudadin belongs to the generation of West Indian cricketers, which is growing up playing on slow, turning pitches against quality spinners, so he would have come prepared adequately for Indian conditions: "Most of the players of this generation back home learn to bat against spin. First class cricket there is dominated by slow bowlers and you have to be patient because there are less bad balls and no matter what, you have to take your time and settle down because the pitches break pretty fast," said Fudadin, explaining the West Indies' ability to negotiate spinners more confidently than ever.
India A would be bolstered by the addition of three senior players, waiting to return to the senior side; Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan will join the side in Shimoga for the second game starting from October 2 and Rajput would be hoping that their experience would work to the hosts' advantage against a visibly spirited West Indian outfit.
India's tactics were questioned in Mysore but there will be little room for errors for a bunch of players looking to send out strong messages to the selectors.