Test hundreds in England enhance credentials- Chase

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By Akeem Greene

West Indies all-rounder Roston Chase wants to make a significant impact on the Test tour in England since he deems it a vital element to enhancing one’s credentials as a Test player, more so as a batsman.

In 32 Tests, Chase has five centuries, four of which were scored in the Caribbean and the other in India.

Apart from 106 against India at Hyderabad in 2018, 95 against Zimbabwe is his next best score playing away from home.

On his previous visit to England in 2017, Chase, who regularly bats at number five, only scored 80 runs in the three Tests and had a high score of 30. His tour average was 13.33, which is his second worse away from home; in Bangladesh he averages 8.50.

With a view of success in England as a pinnacle to a player’s career, Chase seeks to make serious amends second time around.

“I always wanted to score a century in England. I scored a century against England in the Caribbean, but I would love to get one in England,” he stated Saturday during a virtual press briefing.

“When you score hundreds in England, as a batsman, I think people take you more serious and rate you a bit higher so I would love to get a century. I would not be happy if I don’t get at least a century.”

Roston Chase’s 8-60 in Bridgetown against England are his career-best bowling figures (Getty Images)

Chase, Kraigg Brathwaite and Shane Dowrich are the only West Indian batsmen with at least two centuries in the team’s last 15 Tests and to him, runs on this series are of great significance to a player’s reputation.

“I think once you do well in England, your stock as a cricketer goes up on the international scene… [I am] always looking forward to doing well in England to take up your rankings in world cricket.”

With the absence of Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer, the 28-year-old will have to shoulder further responsibility and his line of attack against the world-class duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad will be patience and determination.

“You have to be patient and try to wear them down and let them come to you and try to pick them off when they come to you as strengths. In England the main focus for you as a batsman is to try and play the ball as late as possible with the moving ball, but still look to get your weight into the ball…you have to stay more side-on as a batsman.”

On the previous tour, Chase got seven wickets and bowled 75.2 overs, which was 17.5% of the overs bowled by the visitors in the three matches. With the four-prong pace attack the strength of West Indies attack, Chase’s off-spin is expected to play that support role to the fast men.

“I am willing to do whatever it takes for my team to be victorious…last time we came to England it [bowling] was something I had to do quite a bit of so it is not new to me. So I am looking forward to that challenge if we go with the four-prong pace attack, if not I will try to contribute in whatever way possible.”

He added, “I am comfortable with the role I play, batting in the middle order and bowling some overs when need be. The unit is very close-knit, all the guys are friends and we like to enjoy each other’s company and look to be successful.”

The lanky Barbadian, who took a career-best 8-60 to rout England in Barbados in 2019, revealed fellow off-break bowler Rahkeem Cornwall is the side’s spinning trump card.

“He is definitely the number one spinner and I have no problems with that; I am always willing to do whatever it takes for the team. If I have to back him up or I have to be the main spinner, it does not really matter to me once we are going in the right direction and winning cricket games or series, that’s all matters to me.”

With no match practice in months due to COVID-19, Chase felt it was imperative they play the two intra-squad warm-up matches with great intensity as to be best prepared for the first Test on July 8.

The first warm-up match will be held from June 23-25 at Old Trafford.

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