Holder hails `fighter` Chase post spirited draw against India

Kingston, Aug 4 : West Indies captain Jason Holder has praised Roston Chase effusively, describing his junior colleague as a 'fighter' who guided the Caribbean side to a spirited draw against the Indian juggernaut on the final day of the second Test at Sabina Park, Jamaica.

"Roston is one of many things. He is a character. People don't know Roston off the field but he is a fighter, Holder told reporters during a post-match press conference.

"I played all my cricket throughout my entire life with Roston - junior cricket, 13, 15, 17, 19, West Indies A and now West Indies senior team.

I have honestly enjoyed playing with Roston because the character he is and you know the way he plays cricket.

"He is a very good fellow and he may come across lackadaisical and lazy and smooth but he is a wonderful individual.

It's nothing new to me, this performance from Roston, because I know what he can offer and credit for the selectors for having the faith in him and giving him the opportunity.

Credit also must go to Roston for showing why he should be playing Test cricket." Battling to avoid another ignominious innings defeat in the four-match series and facing a 256-run deficit before heading into the final day, a beleaguered West Indies produced a determined effort as they lost only two wickets while batting for 88.1 overs on day five.

This gritty display was in stark contrast to the rain-truncated fourth day's play where the hosts lost four wickets within 15.5 overs.

Chase, playing only his second Test match, remained unbeaten on 137 off 269 balls and in the process stitched three match-saving partnerships with Jermaine Blackwood (63), Shane Dowrich (74) and captain Holder.

Holder, who provided Chase a tremendous support with his unbeaten 64-run knock, admitted that he drew inspiration from his own match-saving performance against England last year to stave off another defeat in the ongoing series.

"When I was batting I was thinking about the same Test match against England. It was a similar scenario. And for me, I just adopted the same mentality I adopted back then. And I was not going to give my wicket away. I felt early on in the innings it was a bit fidgety, not very settled. I knew at that stage I had to buckle down. (Mohammed) Shami bowled outstanding spell up front with the second new ball. And I thought if I got past that phase it was a lot easier to bat. Having said that, I offered a loose stroke outside off stump and got away. You need fortune in the game. After that I really buckled down and allowed the bowlers to come to me," the 24-year-old skipper said.

Commenting on the hosts' approach on the final day, Holder revealed that he had called on his teammates 'to take it ball by ball' and focus on building partnerships.

"I stressed that in the morning. I just told the guys to take it ball by ball. You may play a rash shot, you may give a chance but it's important to put that aside and look forward to the next ball," he said.

"I think we continued to take it in small strides. And the stress was ball by ball, ball by ball. This morning when I woke up, when I was dropping off my laundry, I met Shane Dowrich and Carlos Brathwaite in the team room.

I just told them 'just tell Jermaine Blackwood to bat that way, play his natural way'. I knew Roston was a man who would be very very solid and stable. So I just wanted him to get into his rhythm. Just show the Indians we are not here to bow down. I just told Shane it's important for our batsmen to take care of the first hour and we know we can build partnerships to see out the day." India are still leading the four-match series 1-0 and will aim to take an unassailable 2-0 lead when they will play the third Test on August 9 at Gros Islet.

Source: ANI