Calcutta: Wavell Hinds started his international career as a middle-order batsman. A few unsuccessful experiments at the top of the order forced a rethink and the West Indian thinktank decided to push the left-hander up the order.
The move is paying dividends and two of the Jamaican’s three Test centuries have come while opening the innings. The latest, against India at Eden Gardens Thursday, couldn’t have come at a better time as it helped keep the visitors’ hopes alive in the Test.
“It’s a great feeling to score a Test century anywhere, but this one is special because it is my first one away from home and it came at a time when the team needed it,” said Hinds after the 172-run opening stand with fellow Jamaican Chris Gayle.
His team conceded a few easy runs in the morning before mopping up the Indian tail. More than the number of runs, the manner and pace with which these were scored could have had a demoralising effect on the visiting team. But Hinds and Gayle have ensured their team still has something to look forward to in the third and final Test.
“Our team needed a good start and myself and Chris batted well. This was the time to come good after not doing well in the first two Tests,” said Hinds. “We started cautiously and realised we had to be patient and wait for the bad deliveries.”
Coach Roger Harper had reason to be pleased and said his side has got just the right start. “It’s been a perfect effort by the openers. They have given us the right platform to go for a big score,” he told The Telegraph later in the evening.
Hinds felt there was no devil in the wicket. “It’s a very good batting track. There was less bounce and turn for the Indian spinners than what they got in Mumbai and Chennai. Nehra was very consistent and Srinath is always dangerous, so we had to graft a bit.”
Hinds said he is enjoying his stint as an opener. “Since it’s about representing the West Indies, doing what the team wants from you is important. You have to be prepared to take on whatever is thrown at you. It’s a question of fitting into the team composition.”
The 26-year-old said the crowd and the buzz didn’t add much of a pressure on his mind. “The noise goes into the background once you back yourself and concentrate hard. On the other hand, a big crowd can also work as a motivating factor.”
Hinds,however, declined to comment on the confident appeal he survived against Harbhajan Singh while on 99.