India vs West Indies: Roston Chase - A constant thorn in India's flesh
Roston Chase has once again feasted on the Indian bowling on the first day of the second Test match between India and West Indies at Hyderabad. At the close of first day’s play, Roston Chase is at the brink of reaching his fourth Test hundred. He is unbeaten on 98 and the Windies are somewhat comfortably placed at 295 for 7.
Chase made his debut against India at North Sound. His Test career started on a quiet note with scores of 23 and 8.
It was in the second Test against India at Kingston, Jamaica that Roston Chase got going. He just scored 10 runs in the first innings. But he displayed his bowling skills when India batted.
Chase took 5 for 121 including the wickets of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli. India took a massive lead of 304 runs in the first innings.
The West Indies in the second innings were staring at a familiar innings defeat when they tripped to 48 for 4. Chase joined Blackwood for the 5th wicket and the partnership together put on 93 runs.
When Blackwood got out with the score on 141, India were still in with a chance to force a win. When Blackwell got out, there were still about 70 overs left in the match for India to take 5 wickets.
When defeat seemed imminent for the Windies, Chase got into the act. His first 50 came off 84 balls. He put on 144 runs with wicket-keeper Dowrich for the 6th wicket.
Chase duly completed his maiden Test hundred in his very second Test. West Indies had gone past the first innings deficit of 304 runs which meant India had to bat again to win the Test.
After the dismissal of Dowrich, Captain Jason Holder joined Chase and put on 105 runs for the 7th wicket and this pair took their team to safety. More than the number of runs, it was the pace at which Chase scored those runs on a fifth-day pitch which was astonishing. West Indies scored 388 on the fifth day of the Test match for the loss of 6 wickets.
Roston Chase remained not out on 137 while Holder contributed 64. Chase was adjudged the player of the match for his match-saving century. Though he failed with the bat against India in his third Test at Gros Islet, he managed to claim 3 wickets in bowling.
In the current series, Roston Chase has once again become the thorn in India’s flesh. In the first Test at Rajkot, he scored a 50 in the first innings. Again on the first day of the second Test, Roston Chase relished on the Indian bowling to score a fluent 98 not out.
Chase came in with the Windies score at 92 for 4 and took the score to 295 for 7 at the end of first day's play. It was a chanceless inning from Chase and his unbeaten 98 came off 174 balls with 7 fours and a six.
Chase was quite successful in coming down to the Indian spinners using his feet and hitting them over the top. He put on 69 runs for the sixth wicket with Dowrich and 104 runs with captain Jason Holder. Now a first innings score of 400 is very much on the cards as long as Chase stays at the wicket.
Even in the past, the Indians bowlers were guilty of allowing lesser known batsmen to come good against them. Allan Border never scored heavily against India but David Boon, Geoff Marsh and Dean Jones thrived on the Indian bowling. While the elegant David Gower failed time and again against India, Mike Gatting became an unexpected hero against India.
The great Brian Lara had only limited success against India while his teammate Shivnarine Chanderpaul was unstoppable against India. In the past, the Indian bowlers have traditionally allowed many out-of-form batsmen like Salim Malik, Graeme Fowler and Alastair Cook to flourish against them.
Roston Chase is the new member of that elite group who flourishes on Indian bowling. But Chase scored when no one gave the Windies a glimmer of a chance to fight back in the second Test. He deserves his hundred when he resumes his innings tomorrow. Meanwhile, hats off to Roston Chase.