West Indies and St. Lucia Kings all-rounder Roston Chase is highly anticipating making his twenty 20 international debut in the maroon at the T20 World Cup in the UAE.
The Windies were unsuccessful in their first runout versus tournament favorites England losing by a whopping six wickets. Chase would have made the T20 squad after his blistering hot, two seasons with the St. Lucia Kings franchise in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) amassing 671 runs and scalping 19 wickets over the two seasons. He was also awarded the CPL most valuable player of the league this year and was influential in his team getting to two straight finals.
Chase, in an interview with cricket commentator and journalist Nikhil Uttamchandani, spoke about the satisfying feeling when he received the call that he had made the squad during the CPL, “it was a great feeling, receiving the call from the chairman. I have had a hard year and a half in terms of West Indies cricket losing my contract, so just to stay grounded and bounce back from these things, was a great feeling for me. Going into the CPL, I was not thinking about the World Cup. Halfway into the tournament, I settled down and got a few scores and everyone started to speak about it so when I got the call, it was a really good feeling.,” he stated.
In over 41 tests and 30 one-day internationals, Chase has been able to accumulate 2516 runs and 86 wickets but wants to add to his account in the T20 format. He spoke about the transition between the difference in format, “I’ve always had a hunger for T20 cricket especially with one of my goals being to play a season in the IPL. Transitioning from test cricket to T20 cricket is not hard, for me, it’s just assessing the situation at hand in the game and adjusting to suit whatever I’m needed to do for the team, I just do that to the best of my ability. I know my game may not be a Chris Gayle or Kieron Pollard or those big hitters, my role is to rotate the strike and make the most of the boundary option.”
Many people have compared Chase’s provisional role in the West Indies T20 team to that of Marlon Samuels who was extremely influential as a stabilizer to the men in maroon winning T20 titles in 2012 and 2016, “I think in an ideal world, hopefully, I will get the same role that I played in for the St. Lucia Kings coming in at four preferably outside of the powerplay, just knocking it around and keeping the scoring rate going, putting away the bad deliveries and then setting up the game for the other guys to finish it off. I also bowl off-spin and I think my off-spin can be useful especially in those conditions,” he expressed, on his role in the World Cup team.
The Windies have had a rough start to the World Cup campaign after they were skittled out for a mere 55 against England. One of the main problems was the constant loss of wickets which never allowed the team to establish any momentum through the innings. Chase, who got a persistent 58-ball 54 in the second warm-up game versus Afghanistan before the WT20 can be the ideal fit for the top order to instill responsibility and allow the power-hitters in the lineup to bat around him.
Time will tell if coach Phil Simmons and skipper Kieron Pollard opt for Chase in the Windies’ pivotal, next game versus South Africa on Tuesday at Dubai commencing at 6 AM ECT.
See Roston’s interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzOw3ceUnY4
Nikhil Uttamchandani is a cricket commentator and sports journalist.