ROSEAU, Dominica – West Indies head coach Stuart Law believes the regional side can take heart from the just-ended series against Pakistan, despite losing the three-match rubber, 2-1, in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday’s final day at Windsor Park.
The Australian, who was overseeing his first Test series since taking up his post last February, said the batting of Roston Chase and the wholehearted effort displayed by the fast bowlers on flat tracks, were evidence enough to suggest the Windies were heading in the right direction.
“We can take plenty of positives. Let’s not dwell too much on what happened yesterday [Sunday],” Law said Monday.
“Going into yesterday’s [Sunday] play we had a chance of winning the Test match and winning the series. I don’t think West Indies have been in that position for a long time. And the way we played – we got beaten up in Jamaica but then we fought back hard in Barbados.
“We changed the way we wanted to go about our preparation and we wanted to change our culture and the boys really responded well to that and we took that into this Test match. It was pretty tough on pretty unresponsive surface but everyone stuck their hands up again.”
He added: “Our bowlers were outstanding. Shannon Gabriel led the attack brilliantly in the series. Alzarri Joseph, a young man in his first proper series bowled exceptionally well. Jason Holder is a standout young man and he led the team with great distinction and from the front.
“Yesterday [Sunday] is still a bitter taste to everyone. I think it may take a couple days to fully leave the system but we are very positive moving forward.”
Chase’s batting was one of the highlights of the series. The 25-year-old was the only batsman on either side to pass 400 runs with 403, and averaged 100 with two centuries and two half-centuries.
His valiant unbeaten 101 on Sunday’s last day brought West Indies within one over of splitting honours in the three-Test series before number 11 Shannon Gabriel lost the plot and was bowled off the last delivery of the penultimate delivery of the day by champion leg-spinner Yasir Shah.
Law said Chase’s heavy scoring and critical interventions with his off-spin, had made him perhaps the ideal choice for Man-of-the-Series.
“Roston Chase had an outstanding series – 400-plus runs and an average of over a hundred and he was my pick for Man-of-the-Series,” Law contended.
“Yasir Shah (eventual Man-of-the-Series) bowled beautifully, had three five-fors, picked up the victory in the series but Roston Chase, on difficult batting pitches [where] no one really excelled consistently, he scored runs in Jamaica, he scored a hundred in Barbados and scored another one here – backing it up with a 69 in the first innings.”
He continued: “He also picked up valuable wickets with the ball and he’s a young man. He still has plenty to learn. If he can keep improving and getting better, who knows where he’s going to end up. He’s one of our finds and a really good bloke to have around the dressing room as well.”
And while the young batting line-up did not set the world alight, Law said several of them had managed to impress beyond the scores.
“I thought we saw players in this series making massive strides. Kieran Powell came back into the squad, didn’t perform the way he wanted to but I thought he looked very solid,” he noted.
“Every innings he played he looked solid before he got out and that’s just a matter of concentration and making sure when you get through the tough times you cash in at the end.
“I thought Shai Hope really gained momentum in his career and his status in world cricket so we’ve got some fine young players.”