Chanderpaul's the key, says Barath

Trailing by 478 on the first innings, the West Indies are 195 for three after the third day, with Chanderpaul batting on 21 alongside Darren Bravo. “It is going to be difficult,” half-centurion Barath said of the road ahead. “Shiv is the key player for us tomorrow. He can bat through tomorrow and make it difficult for the Indian bowlers, take the game into the fifth day and make them bat again. He looks very determined, he definitely has plans for us batting till the fifth day.”

Dismissed for a duck in the first innings, the little opener looked fluent during his 62 in the second innings in his comeback game. “I went out there and tried my best to get West Indies off to a good start,” he noted. “Our objective was to go there and apply ourselves.

We didn’t bat as well as we should have in the first innings. Basically, we learnt from our mistakes. It shows that as a team, we are capable of playing spin well. I am happy getting a half-century but I should have got a big one.”

After a fantastic century on debut against Australia two seasons back, Barath’s has been an up-and-down career, plagued by injuries, the latest being a hamstring strain that forced him to miss the first Test at the Kotla. “That’s something I have been trying to cope with in the past year or so,” Barath conceded. “It’s a very frustrating period in my career as a young man after just coming into the team and getting a century on debut and not playing as consistently as I should have. The only thing I can take from it is that it makes me stronger mentally. It is something I have to learn from. It’s a very difficult period but thankfully I am out of that and I can keep going from strength to strength.”

The presence in the dressing room of Desmond Haynes as batting coach was a huge help, said the Trinidadian. “It is a privilege that someone like Desmond Haynes is a part of our team. Myself being an opening batsman, it is great because he has the experience of playing on different wickets around the world against different oppositions. He has the experience and he can add a lot to this team. It’s obviously work in progress, there is nothing overnight he can do as a batting coach.

“He dominated some of the best bowlers in the world. He always says we should be positive as batsmen and not allow bowlers to get on top of us.”

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