Kingston: West Indies' skipper Jason Holder showered accolades rookie Roston Chase for his brilliant 137 that helped them save the second Test against India but at the same time expects him to continue in the same vein throughout the remainder of the series.
"I think credit must be given to Roston to come in his second Test match and play the way he did in these circumstances. Full credit to him and I just hope that he continues in this vein," Holder said at the post-match conference.
The West Indies skipper said that the three partnerships made a lot of difference.
"Partnerships (were the big difference). We got a really good partnership between Jermaine Blackwood and Roston Chase at the beginning of the Day, and that set it up for us. It laid the foundation for the entire Day."
Talking further about Chase, the skipper said,"It is important for a guy like Roston coming off a top knock like that to continue on in this series. It is even more important that he continue being consistent.
"We have struggled with consistency with both bat and ball and we just need to be more consistent, and that would bring more improvement. He knows that it is just the start and hopefully he can have a long lasting career for the West Indies."
At the same time, he also credited Jermaine Blackwood and Shane Dowrich for the important half-centuries they scored and spent valuable time on the pitch with Chase.
"If you watch Blackwood play in Test cricket, he is a free-scoring player who likes to hit the ball over the top of the fast bowlers and likes to keep the scoreboard moving. And in the beginning of this game I told him to be himself, and play the game he knows how to play.
"I was really proud of how he came out and played in the first innings after we lost a few early wickets. He just came out, counter-attacked and played his game, freed up things for us a bit and took the fight to the Indians. And he showed that we can build partnerships," he said.
"Then today, Dowrich came out and played an outstanding knock. Tough luck for him to be given out at that stage, but I thought his partnership with Chase was very crucial. After that, I just came out and maintained the focus, and made sure that I was there at the end," he added.
The Sabina Park pitch had slowed down quite a bit from Day one, and Day four was obviously lost to rain. As such India's score of 500/9 declared proved to a good one, but a little too slow on the scoring rate. The West Indies’ skipper credited his bowlers for the manner in which they bowled and improved from the Antigua Test.
"The key parts of this game were our bowling and the patience we showed. We could have been easily leaked runs, got impatient and tried different things. But I just stressed that we need to hang in there and be patient.
"We may not be getting the wickets we were looking for, but I felt the pitch was at its best on days two and three for batting. We really stuck to the task and put in a strong effort with the ball.
"At the end, I think it is just important that we fight a little more with the bat in the beginning with our innings. We have shown that if we can play ourselves in we can score runs," said the skipper.
India still lead the four-match series 1-0. However, this draw is a great morale booster for the West Indies, and some would suggest that it is indeed a moral victory for them given how they were placed at 48/4 at stumps on Day four. Holder however underlined the importance of improving rather than getting ahead and challenging India.
"At the beginning of this game, I had said that it is all about improvement for us. It is a young side. I don't expect leaps and bounds from this group so soon.
"But it is just important that we continue to improve and with a performance like this it is important that we don't take two steps backwards. Instead it is important that we just continue and keep looking for ways to improve.
"The bowlers were a lot more patient in this test match and they did an outstanding job although we didn't get the wickets that were there, we sustained the pressure throughout the entire innings and that was really good for the bowlers."
The second innings proved that West Indies were good in putting up stands, felt Holder.
"In the second innings, we showed what we can do when we put partnerships together, that we can build something in the beginning of our innings too. So it just shows that if we apply ourselves and fight we can get big partnerships together," he said.
Holder doesn't believe that a draw against India has balanced it out.
"I wouldn't say it has balanced out. India are still 1-0 up but this obviously gives us an added boost. 2-0 down going into the third Test, heads tends to drop off, but this has actually given us some hope going to St Lucia.
"India is a quality team no doubt and their spinners are quality in these conditions. But as I keep stressing it is important for our young group to keep improving," Holder signed off.