West Indies cricket legend Sir Viv Richards has heaped praise on his nation’s current crop of young players for displaying a great ‘fight and character’ in the drawn second Test match against India at Sabina Park, Jamaica.
Battling to stave off another ignominious innings defeat in the four-match series, a beleaguered West Indies produced a determined effort on the final day as the hosts erased a 256-run deficit and lost only two wickets to finish on 388 for six.
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 after India declared their first innings at 500-9.
“This is a marvelous performance from this young team. I am really proud of them,” Richards was quoted as saying by the WICB’s official website. “They really stood up to the challenge and we should be proud of this kind of performance. They did not win the Test match but if we can see more efforts like this I am sure this team is on the way to very good things.
“They applied themselves and were rewarded. This should be great for them and it shows that they can play at this level. This has lifted the series and I hope it lifts this team as well. There is talent, there is fight and there is character in that West Indies dressing and we saw it here today.”
Roston 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 (64 not out) to secure a spirited draw.
Chase also became the first West Indies player since Garry Sobers in 1966 to score a century and take a five-wicket haul in the same Test.
Richards, who is known for not losing a Test series as a captain, was also effusive in his praise for star performer Chase and urged the rookie all-rounder to build on the performance.
“My advice to him is keep believing in [himself]. He’s off to a tremendous start in his Test career – with a terrific five-wicket haul and then a significant century like this which saved the match,” said Richards.
“He’s now being mentioned and respected, where this is concerned with making a ton and taking a five-for. So I urge him and the team to keep growing and keep believing in themselves.”
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.