Roston Chase, the West Indies all-rounder, has pushed back on assertions of being primarily a Test specialist, as he reflected on his encouraging debut series versus India and his future career goals ahead of the upcoming contest against Pakistan in the UAE.
“I see myself as a cricketer, don’t want to label myself, or be labelled, for any particular format,” Chase told Cricbuzz. “Overall, as an all-rounder, batting is my strength and I want to keep improving my bowling in order to contribute to the team more consistently in that area,” he added.
In a series against India, that was otherwise a poor one for the hosts, Chase stood tall with some solid performances. His maiden five-wicket haul and hundred, aided West Indies in saving the second Test of the series at Sabina Park in Jamaica. Chase became only the fourth West Indian, after Denis Atkinson, Collie Smith and Sir Garfield Sobers, to take a five-wicket haul and score a hundred in the same Test match.
The tall 24-year-old said he wasn’t surprised that he was able to produce such efforts in his first taste of international cricket. “To be honest, I wasn’t surprised (about) how solidly I did. I was always backing my preparation and performances having (had) a good domestic season,” Chase noted.
In the revamped West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Professional first-class competition, Chase scored 710 runs in 10 matches at an average of 59.16 and took 23 wickets at an average of 17.26 for the 2015-16 season. Considering how poor the West Indies domestic season is, Chase has proven to be a unique case – he has been able to translate excellent domestic numbers on to the international stage.
Others who have struggled to replicate that since 1995 include Stuart Williams, Junior Murray, Mahendra Nagamootoo, Devon Smith, Rawl Lewis, Rajendra Dhanraj, Kenroy Peters, Gareth Breese, Tino Best, Nikita Miller to name a few.
Chase explained that he realized how hard it was to move from domestic to international cricket but credited Coach Phil Simmons’s pre-Test series camp in May for his series efforts. Fourteen Test hopefuls worked on batting and bowling spin during a one-week camp in preparation for the India’s visit.
“That extra day in Test cricket takes a lot out of you, so yeah, I found it harder than anything I had experienced in first-class cricket.
“We fielded for 130 overs almost every time India batted. In the Caribbean, we would be lucky to experience that from a batting side domestically. I also must credit Coach Phil for his pre-series camp, it helped me a lot with tactics and ideas of how to play spin, which I used as guidance while scoring my century.
“Maybe, in the Pakistan series camp, something similar could happen with practice left-arm quicks since they have many such bowlers,” he summed up.