Roston Chase and shedding the ‘Test player’ tag

He’s been a constant feature for West Indies in whites since nearly half a decade, shepherding the middle order from tricky positions as well as providing that auxiliary option with the ball. However, the 2020 Hero Caribbean Premier League is bringing to light a new avatar of Roston Chase, one who’s unafraid of playing his shots, one who is shedding that preconceived notion of being a Test player, one innings at a time. 

“Lot of people say that I am a Test player, but when I started playing cricket I just wanted to be a good cricketer. Seeing how the wicket was playing, we knew that if we got a good total it would be hard to chase.” said Roston Chase in the post-match press conference. 

The 28-year-old top scored for the St. Lucia Zouks in the game against the Guyana Amazon Warriors, getting an invaluable 66 with the bat following the loss of a few quick wickets. Chase was also top scorer for the Zouks in the first game against the Jamaica Tallawahs, getting a fifty on debut for his new franchise. 

The all-rounder is currently the second highest scorer for the 2020 Hero Caribbean Premier League, behind only Shimron Hetmyer. He is the only player to score fifties so far for the Zouks this season, getting two of them against Jamaica Tallawahs and Guyana Amazon Warriors respectively. 

Chase has been very calculated with the batting, playing the anchor role in most partnerships and allowing himself time to settle into the game. He is also aided by the likes of Rahkeem Cornwall, Andre Fletcher and Najibullah Zadran being part of the team as they tend to take on the role of aggressor and allow Chase to play his natural game. 

The West Indies batsman has kept a modest strike rate of just over 125, not taking any untoward risk and playing good cricketing shots that will yield rewards in any format of the game. He has four sixes so far in the tournament, which have either come straight behind the bowler’s head or at the shorter square leg boundary, thereby negating the risk of being caught in the deep.

Another important attribute to look at while analysing Chase’s batting in CPL 2020 is the amount of runs he has scored by piercing the gaps and rotating strike. More than half of his 122 runs so far in the competition have come in ones and twos, showing the importance of strike rotation and taking the pressure off the batting team. 

Chase has had an equally effective with the ball this season, picking up five wickets so far while maintaining an economy rate of less than six. The off-spinner has succeeded in the powerplay as well as the slog overs, with the same tricks that made him so lethal in Test cricket. Bowling stump to stump, keeping a tight line and getting through his overs quickly are what have helped Chase become the go to bowler for the St. Lucia Zouks in CPL 2020. 

He has been a phenomenal Test player for the past few years, but if CPL 2020 is anything to go by, it is proof that skills from one form of the sport are transferable across formats, as proved by Roston Chase, succeeding with both bat and ball. 

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