WEST Indies middle order batsman Roston Chase is eyeing a prolific series, as he knows when a batsman scores centuries in England they gain the respect by cricket fans worldwide.
West Indies will play England in a three-match Test series starting on July 8 in Southampton. The series will be played at closed venues because of covid19.
Chase, speaking to journalists on Zoom on Saturday, said, “I always wanted to score a century in England. I scored a century against England in the Caribbean (in 2019), but I would love to get one in England. As I said when you score hundreds in England I think as a batsman I think people take you more serious and rate you a bit higher when you do well in England.”
He said he is aiming to contribute as much as possible, but “I would not be happy if I don’t get at least one century.”
Chase, 28, has scored 1,695 runs in his career at an average of 31.38 with five centuries and seven fifties in 32 Test matches.
In the absence of the left-handed pair – the experienced Darren Bravo and the talented Shimron Hetmyer, more will depend on Chase.
Chase, who normally bats at five, said he does not know if he will move up the batting order in the absence of Bravo and Hetmyer.
Bravo and Hetmyer, along with Keemo Paul, chose not to tour England because of covid19 safety concerns.
Chase, speaking more about succeeding on English soil, said, “I think once you do well in England I think your stock as a cricketer goes up on the international scene. Always looking forward to doing well in England to just take up your rankings in world cricket.”
Chase, who has taken 59 wickets in his career, was instrumental in helping West Indies win the series 2-1 against England in the Caribbean in 2019 to regain the Wisden Trophy. The off-spinner snatched career best figures of 8/60 in the first Test at Kensington Oval in Barbados to set up a massive 381-run victory.
Reflecting on the eight-wicket haul, Chase said, “It is a wonderful memory to think about. It was a great series and that match in my opinion is probably the best Test match that I played in with this current side.”
Chase said winning the first match was crucial in winning the series. West Indies clinched the series in the second match (in Antigua), before England grabbed a consolation win in the third Test (in St Lucia).
Asked if the opposing batsmen will be more tentative when facing him, said, “I don’t know about treating us differently, but surely they will remember it for sure. They will have something to think about in the back of their minds because they know that our bowling attack is one of the better attacks in world cricket right now, so they have a lot to think about.”
The West Indies fast bowlers expected to lead the attack are Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, captain Jason Holder and Chemar Holder.
Despite the contributions by Chase with the ball, he believes off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall is the ace spinner in the squad.
“He is definitely the number one spinner. I have no problem with that. I am always willing to do whatever it takes for the team if I have to back him up or if I have to be the main spinner it does not really matter to me. Once we going in the right direction and winning cricket games or winning cricket series that’s all that matters to me.”