Blackwood: 'I was trying to stay positive'

West Indies' batsman Jermaine Blackwood, who top scored for his team with a run-a-ball 62, spoke about his counter-attacking knock and West Indies' plans for the second day in the Kingston Test against India.

Blackwood played an attacking knock under pressure with loss of early wickets and contributed significantly in a useful partnership with Marlon Samuels.   -  AP

Dismissed for a paltry 196 in its first innings, West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood said his side will now look to build pressure on the Indian batsmen on Sunday to make a comeback in the second Test. West Indies skipper Jason Holder won the toss and elected to bat first, only to see his team being bowled out for just 196 runs, but Blackwood defended the decision and said the team should have batted for long period.

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"Normally at Sabina Park, the wicket is going to have a little bit in it for the pace bowlers for a couple hours. This track is different and has some grass so they will get assistance right through the match. It wasn't a wrong decision to bat first but we just didn't bat for a long period. I guess next time we will have to do that," said Blackwood.

"We weren't in any hurry to score runs. But you cannot just go there and keep losing wickets and not score runs. You have to go there with a positive mindset and any scoring opportunity that comes your way, you need to take it. So that's what I did today," he added.

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Blackwood scored a counter-attacking run-a-ball 62, and his partnership with Marlon Samuels helped West Indies counter the Indian bowling after it had been reduced to 7 for 3. "It is always good to play in front of my home crowd. This is the second time I am playing for West Indies in front of them. I was feeling confident, but I was also a bit tentative at the start because you always want to make runs at your home ground," he said.

"So it was a good feeling getting some runs today and I was happy that I was able to help the team's cause and get back in touch. And that is just normally how I play, ever since I started playing. So that's my natural game. I try to score my first 20-25 runs quickly and tried to use the pace of the ball," he added.

Ravichandran Ashwin's 5 for 52, his second successive five-wicket haul on tour and his 18th overall in 34 Tests, and opener K. L. Rahul's unbeaten 75 put India in a commanding position as it reached 126 for 1 at stumps on Day One. "This India attack is a world-class attack and you have the Test No. 1 bowler in Ashwin. He is very experienced and a very good bowler. The seamers are very consistent with its line and length, and they are bowling to a plan. So it is playing on our minds," Blackwood said.

"As batsmen, we have to go and counter that, try to go against that plan, assess conditions and score runs at the same time. So this is a very tough challenge against a very good attack.

"[On Sunday] we just need to worry about getting ten wickets. So the boys will go home and have a good night's rest, come back fresh [Sunday] morning and have a go at them as we try to build some pressure," he said.

Talking about the partnership with Samuels, Blackwood said, "When I went out he was just giving me a lot of advice about staying positive and running well between the wickets, trying to score runs and wearing down the bowlers.

"As scoring chances came I played my shots. If I had come back after lunch, it would have been a different ball game because Marlon and me had a nice partnership. For me to get out, it set the team back and put the bowlers back on top. So I guess you have to learn from your mistakes."

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