Roston Chase – The New Vice Captain
Any leadership role in any sport is vital, however, cricket is unique in the responsibility that it places on it’s leaders. Especially when you are Roston Chase and have recently been named vice captain.
Captains are tasked with the role of implementing tactics designed and discussed with the coaching staff. They are supposed to lead by example with their own individual performance. Building morale and keeping the team together and upbeat in times of struggle. The list goes on.
Roston Chase has had his role elevated within the Caribbean team, after being named vice captain of the Test team ahead of the tour to New Zealand. He will be fellow Barbadian Jason Holder’s second in command, a role that could potentially enhance him in the pantheon of international cricket.
It has not been an easy ride for the 28-year old to reach this point in his carear.
At just 18, he made his Barbados debut in 2010, but would not appear for his regional side for another couple campaigns. Even being back in the team, his play was good, but not great. That was until the middle of the decade that the Christ Church Parish born all-rounder started really making a name for himself.
During the 2015-2016 season, Chase amassed 710 runs from 10 matches at an average of 59.16 with the bat and grabbed 23 wickets at an average of 17.26 with the ball. Now, the level of cricket in the Caribbean has dropped significantly in the last two decades, but those are still highly respectable numbers. So much so that it earned the player a call up to the West Indies senior team for a home series against powerhouse India.
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He had a man of the match performance in the second Test, as the home team held on for a draw. He grabbed a five wicket haul while bowling and at the Windies second turn with the bat, made an unbeaten 137, as they resisted the visitors onslaught in their search for victory. That he managed to face 269 deliveries going up against the likes of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Ashwin etc…was a testament to his temperament.
It’s an aspect of his game that will prove vital in Roston Chase and his role in becoming vice captain.
Roston Chase: The Game
As a player, Chase’s batting is simple and straight-forward. He plays each ball on it’s merit and puts away the bad ones when there are presented to him. His off-spin is also not “spectacular” or “mesmerising”, but what he does so well, is that he balls on a line and length and more often than not makes the opposition batsman play. He does not often spin the ball a great deal, but while at the crease, batsmen always have to keep an eye out and utilise their concentration to the fullest.
“Effort was by far the best I’ve seen by this group.” says Jason Holder
Lead selector Roger Harper said about the appointment “He is an experienced player who is tactically aware and very purposeful in his approach to the game. He is readily willing to offer advice and discuss ideas with his fellow players and coaches and I think will offer good leadership support to captain Jason Holder both on and off the field.”
It’s clear that Roston Chase and his appointment to vice captain was not taken lightly. The phrase “tactically aware” is such a key cog in any cricket team, especially in Test cricket, as even something as a bowling change or placing a fielder 10 meters either way etc…can make a difference in the outcome of a match. From Harper’s words, it sounds as if Chase is a true team player, one who the younger players can lean on for advice and guidance.
For his part, Chase said the new role is “an honour” and he wants to “try to achieve great things for the West Indies.”
What The Future Holds
It will not be an easy task at all for the visitors. The West Indies have not defeated the Kiwis in a Test series on their last five visits, losing by a combined 8-1 margin in the 12 Tests contested between the nations, with the other three games being drawn. The home side are the definite favourites for the series. The ambition of breaking that 21 year drought was made all the more difficult after the squad was barred from training after breaking protocols.
Not a good start to the tour by any means.
However, it’s at times like these when Chase can impart his influence on the team and get them to rally through the punishment and use it to up their game when the actual play does start.
How Will Roston Chase The Vice Captain Go?
The old saying “With power, comes responsibility” and Chase who has had to graft his way to reach this level, more than most, knows that. He is in the prime of his career and time to take that next step up in international cricket is now and he may just achieve those “great things” for his side that he has uttered so poignantly.
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