Another wicket in Tests will make Roach only the sixth bowler to achieve 250 wickets for West Indies, which will make him go past Michael Holding. Although Roach's average (26.71) is on the higher side compared to the other bowlers in the 250-wicket club, his strike rate of 52.6 is well ahead of West Indies greats Courtney Walsh (54.5) and Curtly Ambrose (57.8).
Roach had a solid start to his Test career, picking up 82 wickets in 21 matches across the first four years. He averaged 27.69 while claiming five five-fors. However, the performance in the following four years led to Roach getting dropped from the Test side. He took only 40 wickets in the 16 Tests played between 2013 and 2016 while averaging 35.45. Roach returned in August 2017 on the tour of England, where he finished as his team's leading wicket-taker.
Roach been successful in providing the breakthroughs with the new ball since his comeback, having taken 44 wickets in the first 15 overs of the innings. In the same period, only Stuart Broad (53) has more than Roach in the first 15 overs, while James Anderson also has 44 to his name. In terms of average, Roach's 17.81 is behind only R Ashwin's 17.8 among the bowlers to have taken 15-plus wickets.
Bowling with the new ball means most of Roach's wickets have been of top-order batters. About half of his career tally (125 out of 249) in this format are of top four batters. Roach's 249 Test wickets include 102 wickets of the players batting in the top three, which is 42.16 % of his career tally. Among the bowlers with 200-plus wickets, only Zaheer Khan has claimed a higher percentage of top-three batters. As many as 140 of Zaheer's 311 Test wickets were of the top three batters, equivalent to 45.01%.
While Roach averages 26.71 with the ball in Tests, the rest of his team-mates averaged 35.31 in the innings he bowled. A ratio of 0.76 between Roach's average and the average of the rest is the 11th best for anyone with 200-plus wickets in this format. Curtly Ambrose (0.71) is the only West Indian among the ten players with a better ratio than Roach.
Sampath Bandarupalli is a statistician at ESPNcricinfo