HYDERABAD: When West Indies substitute wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton messed up a rather easy stumping chance of Prithvi Shaw during India’s chase, it showcased the problems faced by the visitors in their disastrous Test expedition. Shaw was way forward. Hamilton fumbled the ball to the ground, and couldn’t get hold of it even in his second attempt.
In a similar way, West Indies had the opportunities to make a comeback. They removed India’s lower half swiftly on Sunday morning. But then again, a collapse in their second essay washed away all the good work done by captain Jason Holder. The lanky all-rounder had led from the front with a fifty in their first innings and an inspiring fifer in the second. In the span of five deliveries, in the third over of the morning session, he rattled India by dismissing a set Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja. In no time, the Windies had restricted India’s lead to 56 runs.
However, their batting line-up crashed, a la Rajkot. The defeat negated Holder’s stupendous feat of fifers in three consecutive innings. The year in general has been extraordinary for him. His bowling average of 11.87 is the best in the last hundred years for any pacer with a minimum of 30 wickets in a calendar year. Holder thinks the crux of West Indies’ problems lies in their under-performing top-order. “You can look and say we didn’t put enough runs on the board.
For quite some time, we’ve been relatively inconsistent, and that has really let us down. Everybody knows that the top fivesix batsmen get the bulk of runs. That hasn’t been happening. “We have heavily relied on middle and lower half, which is not ideal. So we need to rectify things at the top. The guys in the top five have to put their hands up and come to the party.” There were some positives for the Caribbean men, with players like Roston Chase performing under pressure. Chase hit a hundred in the first essay to help them get past the 300-run mark, something that had looked improbable. However, a collective effort was clearly missing.
Asked whether his performances were rendered inadequate by ordinary outings from his teammates, Holder retorted: “I don’t agree with that. It’s a tough series and we didn’t play our best cricket. We look back at the last two years and we have had some good results. “India are No 1 in the world, and we expected to be pushed by them.
They’re a quality side, especially in their backyard. But, we all saw a positive performance from Roston Chase. We still have some good youngsters. We need to learn quickly and understand. In my short tenure as a Test player, I have learned that you’ve got to be patient and build on what performances you intend to put on.”