It was the month of July back in 2016. A tall and well built West Indies all-rounder announced his arrival in international cricket with a breathtaking and match saving innings of 137* only in his second Test match in the series against India. He had also registered a fifer earlier in that game to go along with his century in the fourth innings of the match. That player was none other than Roston Chase who has 24 Test caps to his name now.

Two years down the line, he produced another magnificent innings of 106 runs against the same opponents, in the second Test match of the series when the whole team was staring down the barrel once again. He now has a century against India both at home and away conditions, with his average reading a healthy 46.12.

This innings was significant in many ways as was his century two years back at home, for he steered his team out of doldrums walking out to bat in crisis situations on both occasions. The Windies suffered heavy defeats in both of their first matches of these two tours. So, Chase’s innings helped them to show that the Windies should not only be identified for their meek surrenders in recent times. In fact, they should be known for the gritty fights they can put up when the going gets tough.

The first match of this series at Rajkot was a disappointing affair for the Windies as they suffered an innings defeat. Chase was the only Windies batsman who registered a score of 50 plus in reply to India’s massive first innings total of 600 odd runs. As India enforced a follow on, everyone expected the visitors to put up some sort of fight like they have done previously on a lot of occasions.

However, to everyone’s surprise, they came up with a terrible batting performance again, even though Kieran Powell played a fighting knock of 83 runs. Even Roston Chase lasted for only 24 deliveries, scoring 20 runs, as he threw his wicket away because of the all-out attacking mindset he was playing in that innings. But that dismissal made him even more determined to play a good hand in his next outing.

As the play moved to Hyderabad, they found themselves in the same position once again. Batting first, the Windies looked all set to be bowled out for another paltry total. But it was time for another ‘Roston Chase Special’. He oozes class and audacity with his playing style and stroke making when he is in flow. And he was exactly in that zone as he made way to his innings of 106 in this match and that innings of unbeaten 137 runs at Kingston two years back.

There was no risk taken in this innings. He punished the bad deliveries with utmost precision to every part of the ground and showed equal respect to the good deliveries. He waited for the right opportunities and looked extremely confident and comfortable against the spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.

In fact, he dominated the proceedings as long as he occupied the crease. The way he handled his partners, Shane Dowrich and skipper Jason Holder, was impressive too. Incidentally, these were the same set of people who helped Windies save that Test match at Kingston along with Chase. While Dowrich and Holder had partnerships of 144 and 103* back then, their stands lasted for 69 and 104 runs this time.

Moreover, his innings was so flawless that only a miraculous delivery had the potential to dismiss him. In the end, it took India that kind of a delivery to get rid of Chase as Umesh Yadav bowled something that every fast bowler dreams of. Firstly, the delivery shaped outwards in the air before pitching and then it swung back in after pitching, thus making it impossible for the batsman to track the trajectory of the ball. The venomous pace of Yadav made it furthermore unplayable as Chase walked back to the pavilion in shock but with his chin up and head held high.

It seems like he has developed a liking for the Indian team. But the job isn’t done yet. Everyone is expecting the same kind of effort from him when the Windies begin batting in the third innings of the match. It remains to be seen if he can become India’s long term tormentor.