Roston Chase is eyeing a return to the West Indies One-Day International team. (Picture courtesy CWI Media/Randy Brooks)
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The pursuit of prolific performances is starting to pay off for Barbados Pride and West Indies Test batsman Roston Chase.
Chase told NATIONSPORT he was determined to demonstrate to the regional selectors he was worthy of consideration again for One-Day cricket during the just ended West Indies Super50 Festival.
The tall right-hander certainly achieved his objective, amassing a tournament high 558 runs at an average of 62 and strike rate of 91.92.
His performances weren’t ignored as he earned a call-up to the Windies “A” team for their three-match One-Day series in Antigua.
“I had a rough start to international 50-over cricket and I was dropped from the [West Indies] team because I didn’t perform well enough,” Chase acknowledged.
But Chase believes that omission after eight games in which he averaged a mere 13.60 has been a blessing in disguise for him as he was able to play more matches at the regional level.
“This wasn’t a bad thing for me. I just thought that gave me some time now to show my worth in the 50-over cricket. Last year was really my first full year so I was still getting my feet wet in that arena [One-Day cricket].
“This year was a big year for me in proving myself at this level so I was just happy to go out there and perform well and put my name back out there for 50-over selection,” the 25-year-old Chase noted.
Chase said analysing each match situation while at the crease was critical.
“I just wanted to put the team in the best position as possible and do what was required to win the game for the team. That was just my mentality when I went out to bat and that worked for me.”
Chase, who has three centuries and averages 38.03 in 17 Tests, also explained his consistency which saw him score four half-centuries and a maiden List A hundred in ten matches.
“I didn’t set many goals. I just wanted to get at least two hundreds in the tournament. That was a major goal for me,” he said.
Neither did he put himself under pressure to shoulder the Barbados batting after last year’s top batsman Shai Hope departed for the West Indies’ World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe, along with other key players.
“It was not a feeling that you had to perform each and every time but when I go out there, I don’t study the past game. I just tell myself this is a new game. I am starting at nought and I have to go out there and do what is needed for the team.
“I just look at that as an opportunity to make a name for myself and seeing that I have been left out of the 50-over team, I just thought that it was a great opportunity to go and show my worth in the 50-over format. It was no pressure but I just thought that when the guys left, it was a bit more responsibility on my part but I never once felt under any pressure to do well every game for the team,” he reasoned.
While Chase gave the pitches at Kensington Oval during the Group matches a failing grade, he lauded the surfaces which were prepared at the Coolidge Cricket Ground for the semi-finals and final.
“I thought in Barbados the pitches were a little more difficult, especially at the Oval. I thought the wicket was a little two-pace, a little up and down at the Oval, so it was a bit hard in manoeuvring the ball and finding the gaps but I still managed it well.
“In Antigua, the pitches were lovely for batting. It was a bit easier to get the ball off of you. But I still thought that overall the tournament was good in terms of the facilities and pitches for 50-over cricket,” he said.
Chase, who is a useful off-spinner, conceded that opportunities were limited for him to bowl during the competition due to the team’s tactics.
“If you are in a team with Sulieman Benn and Ashley Nurse, it is going to be hard to get the ball before those guys and then having left Barbados where the ball was spinning a lot, I guess the team plans were based around the seam bowlers a bit more in Antigua.
“I bowled a bit in the semis but the skipper [Kraigg Brathwaite] didn’t thought it was necessary for me to bowl in the final. I didn’t have a problem with that because we sat as a team and we discussed that the pacers would bowl the majority of the overs so I wasn’t too disheartened by that,” Chase said. (EZS)