“It was time for Holder to walk out and join Chase in the middle. And the duo repeated what they had done in the previous seven innings”
The Windies were totally outplayed in their first Test against India at Rajkot. The match finished within just three days as the Windies batting line-up collapsed like a pack of cards in both innings.
It was Roston Chase who looked like the most assured of the Windies batsmen in both innings as he registered scores of 53 and 20 respectively. Kieran Powell had played a good hand of 83 in the second innings as well but what they lacked was one or two good partnerships which help a team in registering respectable totals on the board.
However, that aspect changed as their regular skipper Jason Holder was fit to feature in the second Test. They were once again looking down the barrel at Hyderabad as they had been reduced to 113/5. Chase formed a vital partnership of 69 runs for the 6th wicket with Shane Dowrich but a total of 182/6, when Dowrich departed for 30, still meant nothing in the context of the game.
It was time for Holder to walk out and join Chase in the middle. And the duo repeated what they had done in the previous seven innings.
In 7 innings before this partnership, the duo averaged 62.16 with 373 runs and two century stands to their name.
As they went on and registered another century stand in this innings, their average shot up to 68.14 with a total of 477 runs to their names.
India were looking to finish things off quickly as the 6th wicket fell on a score of 182. The Windies were criticised a lot for their lack of fighting spirit in the last Test match but Chase and Holder looked determined to turn things around this time.
They looked assured at the crease right from the start. They showed respect to the good deliveries by defending them and at the same time, they pounced on the bad deliveries to punish the bowlers.
Their awareness of the situation was the main highlight of their partnership as they played risk-free cricket throughout their stay at the crease. It was also helped by some wayward bowling by the Indian bowlers. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, in particular, had been straying either down the leg side or too much outside off to them more often than not. Thus, that allowed the duo to score runs freely for a certain period.
Moreover, this was not the first time they had pulled off such a resurrecting act against India. All of it started back in August 2016 when Chase was playing only his second Test match. India were dominating the game as they looked to bowl the Windies out quickly after having sent half of the side back to the pavilion.
But Chase combined with Dowrich to steady the Windies ship and then shared an unbeaten 103 run stand with Holder to force a draw. He also had registered a five-wicket haul in that game previously.
They repeated their heroics again in April May 2017 against Pakistan at Bridgetown. They registered a terrific 132-run stand for the seventh wicket that eventually helped them in setting up the win for them.
And they were at it again this time against India at Hyderabad. The lower order comprising the likes of Chase and Holder averages more than that of the Windies top order in recent times. They have led the lower order resurgence on multiple times for their team. It is high time now that the top order stepped up.