Rouseau (Dominica), Jul 9 (IANS): Abhinav Mukund is getting better with every innings in his debut series in the West Indies. The opening batsman attributes his success to his ability to negotiate the short ball right from his early cricketing days.
Mukund scored a fluent 62 on day-three of the third Test here Friday for his maiden half century in Tests. The Tamil Nadu batsman played well in the second Test in Barbados, but was dismissed for 48 in the second innings.
He played a composed knock Friday and tackled the fast bowlers effectively. He shared a 98-run stand with V.V.S. Laxman (56) to pave the way for India's healthy lead in the first innings. The visitors ended the day at 308 runs for six and are 104 runs ahead of the West Indies total of 204.
The southpaw, however, was disappointed to have missed out on a hundred on a wicket that he thought was similar to Indian pitches.
Mukund revealed that his father's advice early on in his career is helping him at the highest level.
"I have played a lot on matting wickets while growing up. My dad always told me that a lot of deliveries in international cricket are short so I practiced accordingly."
"I am really disappointed on missing out on a hundred. After doing all the hard work when the ball was swinging in the morning, I tried to stick on and then got out to a ball on which I must not have got out to on other occasions," said Mukund.
On the nature of the wicket in the Caribbean: "The first two tracks had a lot of bounce whereas this wicket is more like what we get back home in India.
"Having said that, planting your feet and playing out forward took a lot of effort. But then I started trusting the wicket and could go forward a lot more than in Barbados (second Test)."
Mukund is confident about India's chances on winning the game which has been marred by constant rains on the first two days.
"We are leading by 104 runs which actually is 150-160 runs because of the heavy outfield. We hope the wicket is roughing up and weather permitting, and the ball turning more, we should enforce a win over the next two days."