Windies' Roston Chase to critics: I know what I can do!

In this file photo, West Indies’ Roston Chase (R) and Kyle Mayers embrace after defeating India by four runs in their first T20 at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, in Tarouba, on August 3, 2023. - AP PHOTO
In this file photo, West Indies’ Roston Chase (R) and Kyle Mayers embrace after defeating India by four runs in their first T20 at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, in Tarouba, on August 3, 2023. - AP PHOTO

West Indies allrounder Roston Chase says he's paying naysayers no mind and he's focused on playing a crucial role for the regional team at the June 1-29 International Cricket Council (ICC) men's Twenty/20 World Cup, which is being co-hosted by the West Indies and the US.

The 32-year-old Chase has played 11 T20s for the West Indies since making his debut at the 2021 T20 World Cup, and will serve as stand-in captain Brandon King's deputy for the three-match T20 series versus South Africa at Sabina Park, Jamaica from May 23-26.

Chase, who led a Windies 'A' team to a 3-2 series victory away to Nepal earlier this month, said he's fully aware of his capabilities, despite what others may think.

"People may not necessarily know the intricate details that go into playing a cricket match. I'm not one of the big superstars that may hit the ball 100 metres or bowl at 90 miles per hour or take a five-wicket haul or anything like that," Chase told Cricket West Indies (CWI) media, when asked about criticism he may face from fans.

"I think I still play a key and vital role in the team, so people just tend to see me chipping in here and they say, 'Chase ain't no good.' But I know what I can do, my teammates know what I can do, and the coaches know what I can do.

"That's their opinion and at the end of the day everyone has their own opinion."

With 49 Test matches to his name, the right-hander has been a steady middle-order batsman since debuting in 2016, while his tidy off-spin has brought him four five-wicket hauls in the red-ball format.

Untested at the T20 international level at the time, Chase shot into the spotlight in the 2021 Caribbean Premier League season when he finished with a tournament-high 446 runs and ten wickets to take home the MVP award. Chase also helped the St Lucia Kings franchise to their second straight final in the 2021 season.

Chase was a surprise inclusion for the 2021 T20 World Cup, and played the last three matches in the West Indies' campaign as the two-time champs crashed out at the group stage.

He next featured for the Windies in a 3-0 series loss away to India in February 2022, before being out of the T20 setup for over a year.

Now back in the Windies' plans for the shortest format, Chase said he's eager to bring his expertise to the table from a leadership standpoint and with the ball in hand.

"I know that I don't have a lot of variations, so I just try to think as quickly as I can on my feet and I try to be as smart as I can, especially with the ball. I know my role is kinda the power-play bowler, so I think that's probably one of the hardest jobs outside of death bowling," Chase said. "You have to want to bowl in the power play. It's a tough job, but I always try to go into it with a clear mind and strong belief."

After helping the West Indies 'A' to a 3-2 series win over Nepal in what Chase described as challenging conditions, the Barbados allrounder said the hosts need to clean up their flaws against the Proteas as they build toward their World Cup campaign, which starts on June 2 with a match versus Papua New Guinea.

"I think this is a time for us to just get our tactics and strategies right and get the guys gelling," he said. "Obviously, the areas we have been weak in over the past couple of series, in terms of controlling the power play in the bowling aspect – I think that's one area, once we tend to do well in the game, we usually come out on top."

The Windies will be without seven players from the T20 World Cup squad, as Shai Hope and former skipper Nicholas Pooran have been rested after Indian Premier League (IPL) exploits, while the quartet of Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Andre Russell and captain Rovman Powell are still involved in the tournament.

Alzarri Joseph's Royal Challengers Bangalore team was ousted from the competition on Wednesday.

From 3.30 pm on Thursday, Chase and the West Indies will try to hit the ground running versus the Proteas.


"Windies’ Roston Chase to critics: I know what I can do!"

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