Unlucky to have missed out on a hat-trick by a whisker, West Indies pacer Kemar Roach said he was happy to just be in contention for the feat against a strong Indian batting line-up.
After dismissing opener Mayank Agarwal (5) before lunch on the third day of the second Test, Roach came out firing on all cylinders and removed KL Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli off successive balls to be on the verge of a hat-trick in India’s second innings on Sunday.
It was so near yet so far for Roach as Ajinkya Rahane narrowly edged the hat-trick ball towards the stumps, only to see it miss by an inch.
Roach said with a little bit of luck on his side, he could have entered the record books.
“Of course!” Roach said when asked if, for a second, he thought he had got the hat-trick. “Inside edge and missing the stumps – a bit unlucky but I am pretty happy with what happened.
“It was a good feeling. Obviously, the Indian batting line-up is very strong, so to be on a hat-trick against those guys is obviously a good feeling. I’d have liked to get it, but a little more luck the next time it hits on the stumps and it will go my way, but I am pretty happy for what happened,” he said at the post-day’s press conference in Jamaica.
Roach said even though he couldn’t register the hat-trick, he considers his efforts in the ongoing second Test as a great achievement.
“I think as a bowling group there is satisfaction in how we have done so far. Kudos to the guys. Happy for myself to be, obviously, be among some of the greats, so it’s a great achievement for me as well,” he said.
Chasing an improbable 468-run target to avoid a series sweep, West Indies find themselves in a spot of bother at 45/2. Roach said it’s time for the West Indies batsmen to show fight.
“There is more than enough time. Two days left in the Test match. Just bat. Nothing more to be said about that. The guys haven’t had a good score in this Test series so far, so it’s about guys just applying themselves and going out there and being positive and put some runs on the board,” he said.
West Indies batsmen will be relieved that the track has flattened a bit but Roach said it won’t be easy for the home team against the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma.
“It’s flattened out a bit more. It’s not as bouncy as it was the first couple of days,” he said. “There is still enough there for the bowlers. Still have to apply yourself as a batsman and have to grind and get that score, but I think once you get in it gets way easier, so it’s all about the guys being positive and grinding and obviously getting the score.”
Roach said if needed he is ready to contribute with the bat as well.
“Yeah, obviously I am pretty confident with the bat recently. Just backing my ability, trust my talent and go there and hit the ball. I have been doing it pretty well and pretty proud of that,” he said. “I just keep it simple. I know my shots and I just wait for the balls to come in that area.”