West Indies off-spinner Shane Shllingford, who took the prize wicket of Sachin Tendulkar courtesy a questionable umpiring decision on day two of the cricket Test against India at Kolkata's Eden Gardens on Thursday, defended his decision to appeal saying it was his job as a bowler.
Asked whether he was happy with the way Tendulkar was dismissed, Shillingford (4/130) 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."
Tendulkar, playing his penultimate match here, was ruled out leg before by umpire Nigel Llong while the replays suggested that the ball was going over the stumps.
Shillingford, who rocked the Indian top and middle order with his spin and variations, said playing in Indian conditions was a challenge.
“It is absolutely wonderful playing in India, but it is a challenge. Indians are very good players of spin. But the wickets are not easy to bowl on. You have to put it in the right place and be patient,” he said.
Talking about his travails when he was reported for suspect bowling action following the first Test against Sri Lanka in 2010, Shillingford said the incident made him tougher as a sportsman.
“Things happen in life as a player and that is what makes a tough sportsperson. Whenever such things happen, you find ways to bounce back,” he said.
The offie said his earlier coaching stint with Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mustaq allowed him to learn about Test match conditions.
“I really enjoyed the stint with him. Saqlain taught me pretty much about preparation for Test cricket and that is what I took from him. He taught me a lot about control. Seeing him bowling the doosra, the way he gripped the ball, I realised how difficult it was,” said the 33-year-old.
He also praised Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin, whose unbeaten 198 runs partnership propelled India to a commanding position.
He said things did not go their way as Rohit 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.“After lunch the wicket slowed down and that’s when I thought I had to be more tighter than more attacking and the batsmen too realised that and were patient and waited for bad balls,” said Shillingford.
Though India have already taken a sizeable lead of 120 runs, Shillingford hoped the visitors would make a comeback in the match on day three Friday.
“The match is still wide open. Tomorrow is a very important day for us and we have to stick to our plans and be patient,” he added.