Barbadian seam bowler Kemar Roach celebrated his 400th international wicket Friday when he dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin on Day two of the second Cycle Pure Agarbathi Test Match powered by Yes Bank at Windsor Park, Dominica.
Running in to bowl the last ball of his 22nd over of the first innings, Roach delivered an accurate slower ball on a length which Ashwin tried to cut through point but missed.
His celebration was more of a relief when the leg stump was rattled, as Ashwin was in full declaration mode, and had already taken three boundaries off the over. That dismissal saw Roach finish with figures of 3-104 with two maidens at an economy rate of 4.72 as India were bowled out for 438.
The 35-year-old Kemar Roach has made 184 appearances for the West Indies across all formats, having made his debut for the regional side in 2008 against Australia in a T20I match. He really burst onto the scene a year later when he took 13 wickets in his first two test matches when West Indies faced Bangladesh at Arnos Vale Ground in St Vincent.
He also made headlines when he hit then Australian captain Ricky Ponting with a 146kph bouncer and was rushing the Australians with his express pace that was consistently around 150kph.
After 29 Test matches, Roach seemed set to fulfil the early promise that pundits and fans expected from him when his bowling average was in the mid-20s and strike rate below 50.
However on December 14, 2014, he suffered an ankle injury in South Africa which affected his pace and subsequently his ability to dismiss international batters. With just eight wickets taken from his next nine matches after recovery, he was dropped from the West Indies Test squad.
Roach was left to prove himself all over again in domestic cricket and so he did. He took 23 wickets at an average of 16.17 in the 2016-2017 Professional Cricket League and was back in the West Indies’ Test squad for the 2017 tour of England.
Since then, he has led the West Indies red ball attack and is currently fifth in West Indies’ all-time list for Test wicket takers with 265 scalps at an average of 27.52 in a career spanning 14 years. He is still some way off Lance Gibbs, who sits fourth with 309 wickets.
Roach has also taken 125 wickets in One Day Internationals at an average of 31.08 and ten wickets in 11 T20Is with an average of 28.40.
This is the 100th Test match between India and West Indies. The two sides first met in 1948 at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, India. (JC)