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India vs West Indies | Kemar Roach, not Ishant Sharma, probably best bowler in the match, says Jason Holder

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India vs West Indies | Kemar Roach, not Ishant Sharma, probably best bowler in the match, says Jason Holder

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Jason Holder has claimed that Kemar Roach, and not Ishant Sharma, was probably the best bowler in the match after Day 3 of the Antigua Test. While admitting that his team missed a few chances in the second innings, Holder asserted that the hosts were still in the game despite trailing by 260 runs.

After struggling with the bat and affording the best Test side in the world a first-innings lead of 75 runs, West Indies tried to mount a comeback in the game by restricting India to 81 runs with the top three back in the pavilion. It could have been better had John Campbell, fielding at extra cover, held on to a Rahane catch on Roach’s bowling. Roach, who bowled out of his skin to end the day at 1/18 in 12 overs, received special praise from his skipper, who called him the best bowler of the match despite the lack of numbers in the wicket column.

"Yes, Ishant got five wickets in the first innings but Kemar is probably the bowler of the game. I am not discrediting Ishant's performance, I thought he bowled really well as well. But I think Kemar has so far stood out,” Holder said after the end of the day’s play, reported Cricinfo.

"Kemar's been brilliant. Him, Shannon [Gabriel] and myself, we have done a lot of hard work over the last couple of years. I am not surprised by his performance. He tends to like this ground as well, he's had quite a bit of success here at Antigua. The thing about Kemar is that he keeps you guessing, keeps you playing and there's never a situation where he can be predictable."

But the Campbell drop wasn’t the only time that Roach was left aggrieved. After picking up the all-important wicket of Pujara for a second innings in a row, Roach was let down by DRS which showed the ball missing the stumps after the Windies decided to review. Roach’s luck did not get better as the day progressed as he caught Rahane plumb in front of the stumps only for his side refusing to go for the review. Ball-tracking later showed that the ball would have gone onto crash into middle stump. While Holder rued the missed chances, he was quick to add that the hosts were still in the game.

"We definitely did drop a chance and I definitely can't control umpiring decisions. We could have reviewed it but at that stage, we felt it was bat as well. Unfortunately, it didn't go our way that decision. That's just the way the game is played. The bowlers are doing an exceptional job. India is scoring at 2-plus an over which is good. We've missed a chance here and there and obviously the lbw decision there, the game would have looked a lot different. But having said that we are definitely in hand, still in hand, we are fighting today," Holder added.

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