On last Saturday (25th July), West Indies pacer Kemar Roach completed his 200 Test wickets and became the first Caribbean bowler since 1994 to reach this milestone. The 32-year-old wants to win this series, and while his team is struggling in the ongoing Manchester Test, he believes that the team can still fight back.
The hosts England and the visitors West Indies are currently busy in the Manchester Test, which is the last game of the three-match Test series. As the series is currently standing with 1-1, it is the series-decider game. After the visitors sent the hosts to bat first, England managed to score 369 runs in their first innings, where the Caribbean right-arm pacer got four wickets (4/72).
On the second day morning of this Test match, Roach picked up his third wicket in this match after dismissing Chris Woakes (1). It was also his 200th Test wicket which he achieved in 59 Tests. After Sir Curtly Ambrose completed his 200 Test wickets in March 1994, it took 26 years for a Caribbean bowler to reach this milestone.
At the stumps on day two, the West Indies were struggling on 137/6, trialling by 232 runs. However, Roach still believes that the Caribbean side can return to this game as he wants to win this series.
After the end of the day two, Roach said according to ESPNcricinfo, “I think winning the series would obviously be the pinnacle right now. We are a little bit behind on the eight-ball but I am sure guys have it in them to come back out of the pit and fight. It reaching 200 wickets will be a favourite moment for me if we win the series but right now it’s up there as one of the best moments in my career.”
Kemar Roach admitted that the 200-Test-wicket milestone was on his mind, which none of the Caribbean bowlers achieved since 1994. However, he tried to stay focused and positive as much as possible in this period.
He added, “It (200 wickets mark) did play on my mind, I would be lying if I say it did not. Some nights I was wondering what’s going on but it’s all about staying focused, staying positive, come out there and keep putting the hard work. That’s how we can break what we call a jinx.”
“It was tough but I have played cricket for long enough to understand those things happen. It’s all about remaining positive. Go out there, keep fighting every day and we all know once the spell is broken and then you are back into your own. Definitely back now, close to where I want to be.”
It’s all about how much I can go now, 250, 300 wickets, probably 100 Test matches: Kemar Roach
Roach is now relieved after reaching this milestone. He also said that he was a bit emotional after completing that feat. The 32-year-old now wants to stretch his Test wicket column to 250-300 and even to stretch his Test match number to 100.
He claimed, “The landmark gave me a little bit of relief. Obviously it was a bit emotional. I know the journey I have had. It has been very very tough to get back on the field. To get that milestone is a weight off my back. It’s all about how much I can go now, 250, 300 wickets, probably 100 Test matches. Let’s see how much the body stays up and how long I can play cricket for West Indies.”
After that England’s first innings, Kemar Roach has taken 201 Test wickets.