West Indies in India 2013-14 October 23, 2013

'Will give Sachin and the team a run for their money' - Shillingford

Renaldo Matadeen

West Indies offspinner Shane Shillingford, a non-playing member of the West Indies team that toured India two years ago, believes that he can make an impact and spoil Sachin Tendulkar's final Test in Mumbai next month.

"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, who watched his team struggle against India from the sidelines in 2011, has endured several promising regional stints for Northern Windward Islands, and he now comes into the Test squad as one of West Indies' pivotal spinners. His performances have even kept out limited-overs star, Sunil Narine.

"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."

Shillingford is entrusted with the spin responsibility, along with Veerasammy Permaul, and indicated that he has been researching India's pitches.

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

With Test series wins over Bangladesh and Zimbabwe recently, Shillingford believes West Indies' gradual progress up the ICC rankings signals more optimistic times. Against Zimbabwe, he was named Man of the Series, and he admitted that there was an extra element of pressure on him.

"This pressure is something Saqlain [Mushtaq] helped prepare us for with his spin clinic in Barbados recently," he said. "This course taught us about inspiration, tactics, physical and mental preparation and I'm looking forward to implementing these things in India."

To gear for his return to the subcontinent, Shillingford revealed that he had been boosting up his original skills as a spinner via the techniques that Saqlain taught him, and by learning from his team-mates such as Narine, Permaul Samuel Badree.

"I have to work at this spinning spot because I want to be a key member in the Test team. 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."

Despite India boasting a formidable batting line-up, Shillingford maintained that West Indies had enough firepower in their bowling ranks to quell the explosive opposition, and that the coach, Ottis Gibson, had outlined a series of plans for the players to stick to.

Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • espncricinfomobile on October 29, 2013, 3:47 GMT

    Mr. Shillingford, if I were you I would never make the mistake of taunting one of the best batting line ups in the world in their own backyard. Sachin Tendulkar is a Legend in this country, so challenging him indirectly like this may have its consequences. The question is however. Are you ready to face those consequences if the test series doesn't plan out the way it should? And a quick reminder to you, please ask Mr. Mushtaq that when was the last time he appeared for a test against India and what wes its result? Apparently Mr. Shillingford, the last Time Saqlain Mushtaq played against India was his last Test match, in which he was taken to the cleaners by one Virender Sehwag who scored his then career best 309* and by one Sachin Tendulkar who amassed 194*, and Mr. Mustaq finished with 1/204 (43). I think the second name should sound a bit familiar to your ears! If you know what I mean.

  • dummy4fb on October 25, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    Shane from your Country-man.. best of luck... Narine shd never be allowed to hold a cherry for west indies... this guy don't represent TnT in 50 overs or 4day cricket

    1-1 draw would be a grt achievement for the Island boys in India

  • dummy4fb on October 24, 2013, 1:44 GMT

    cricketdebator - After 5 Test matches Shane Warne had 12 wickets (with 3 test at home, Muttiah Muralitharan had 16 wickets (with all tests at home [it should be noted that in one of the tests he did not bowl due to rain]) and Sunil Narine has 15 wickets (with 2 tests at home). My point??? Spinners have to be persisted with, nurtured and given chances to excel and HONE their craft. Spinning the ball and reading different situations in TEST MATCHES only come with experience.

    Narine clearly has the technical skill (the GREAT Sachin Tendulkar looks at sea sometimes when he is facing him!), he just needs the opportunity. Imagine if the Australian/Sri Lankan selectors didn't pick Warne/Murali because they didn't start off with a bang................ Walsh may have still had the record (although that may not be a bad thing!!!!)

    And lastly although Shillingford has clearly earned his place in front Narine in Tests, Narine should at least be on the tour as the second spin option.

  • simonviller on October 23, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    I always supported your inclusion Mr Shillingford ,but I think that you are saying a little too much for a guy who hasn't played in Indian conditions . Let's hope that you have not disturbed a sleeping giant ,but rather have great success on this tour .

  • cricketdebator on October 23, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    Sal Husain - Narine has demonstrated that he is indeed one of the best spinners in the world, but ONLY in T20 cricket. On the other hand, Shillingford has clearly outbowled him in Test cricket. And whereas I think that they should not abandon Narine despite his shortcomings in test cricket so far, I cannot really blame the selectors for selecting Shillingford ahead of him on this occasion. Last time I saw Narine playing a test match, he bowled unimpressively and most dissappointly was very lazy in the field. 'Seems like a guy who prefers to bowl 4 overs for a day's work.

  • Cpt.Meanster on October 23, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    Mr. Shane Shillingford needs to remember than this is not the CPL. This is a proper test series in India against a superior opposition. I find it incredibly funny and surprising how many comments here are supporting Shane when he clearly has no idea or clue about what test cricket is all about while playing in India. He has no pedigree or record whatsoever. Had an Indian spinner said the same, I would have seen a hundred comments degrading him and putting him down. I would talk carefully if I were Shillingford. He is not a Murali or a Saqlain Mushtaq, who both have struggled against Indian batsmen for the most part in their careers. Yet, I wish him good luck and just advise him to remain quiet and let his performance speak.

  • Cpt.Meanster on October 23, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    Shillingford is a spinner but he speaks like a fast bowler. I would watch my mouth if I were him. India is a place where careers can be made and careers can end. Since Shillingford is a spinner, I hope his career doesn't end with the Indian batsmen going rampant against him. I would take it one step at a time. No matter what the WI players say, the fact of the matter is they are ranked way below India in all forms of cricket and they are there for a reason. Speaking about these 2 tests, the Indian team will definitely be tough for the WI. They don't need any more reason than SRT. Remember that the World Cup was won for SRT. I am sure they will want to win these 2 tests and send the Little Master on a high.

  • dummy4fb on October 23, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    Westindies team for tests should be 1. Chris gayle 2. Powell 3. bravo 4. samuels 5. chanderpaul 6 .deonaraine 7 . permaul 8. ramdin 9. shilling ford 10 . roach 11 cummins

    ODI should be: 1. Powell 2. Charles (Wk) 3. Chris gayle 4. Bravo 5 . samuels 6.ledyl simmons 7. Sammy/ pollard 8. Roach 9 Naraine 10 . Ravi Rampaul 11. dwayne bravo

  • dummy4fb on October 23, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    one of the best spinner in the world is sitting at home while the likes of shillingfor and permaul is representing west indies. this is a joke and west indies will pay for it. NARINE SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE.

  • dummy4fb on October 23, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    @Ravi Darira - India should really take these tests seriously because the results affect the rankings. Besides, they should not want SRT to exit the scene as a loser. I have watched India over the years and I think that they play every match with utter seriousness and they have always played to win. Do you really believe that they would want to lose to minnows as WI which would make their fall in the rankings even more severe than if it were a loss to a team above them?

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