‘We are going to give Sachin and the team a run for their money’, says Shane Shillingford

Image courtesy of: Sydney Morning Herald

“It was difficult to come to India and not play some years ago but I watched carefully and learned from the sidelines”

West Indies spinner Shane Shillingford has announced that he believes he can give legendary India batsman Sachin Tendulkar and the rest of his team-mates “a run for their money” when the men from the Caribbean tour the subcontinent nation next month.

While Shillingford did not deny that the West Indies were the “underdogs” heading into the series, he feels as if they have the ability to give India a real scare.

“We are the underdogs but we have great players that do the basics well and we are going to give Sachin and the team a run for their money,” Shillingford said.

Shillingford has been in excellent form as of late, in fact, so much so that it has led to spin maestro Sunil Narine losing his spot in the side.

“It was difficult to come to India and not play some years ago but I watched carefully and learned from the sidelines,” he said. “They have passionate crowds and it can be tough at times but since then, I’ve honed my craft and taken notes.”

The off-spinner has even gone the extra mile to prepare himself for the tour as he revealed that he had been researching about the type of conditions he can expect to face in India.

“I took a lot of notes of how Indian bowlers vary their pace under these conditions and pitches,” he added. “I monitored (Ravichandran) Ashwin a lot and I cannot wait to come and assess the conditions for myself. Then I’ll adapt.”

Speaking about the recent three-week coaching clinic with former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, Shillingford said: “This pressure is something Saqlain [Mushtaq] helped prepare us for with his spin clinic in Barbados recently. This course taught us about inspiration, tactics, physical and mental preparation and I’m looking forward to implementing these things in India.”

However, Shillingford knows that he has to perform well with the ball on this tour if he is to cement his place in the Test side ahead of Narine, Veerasammy Permaul and Samuel Badree.

“I have to work at this spinning spot because I want to be a key member in the Test team,” he said. “It’s an honor and with consistency, we’ll make it further up the rankings. India is a big occasion but I feel we can rise above this challenge.”

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