BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – West Indies batsman Roston Chase says New Zealand’s strategy of short-pitched bowling in the recent Test series had not been a major issue for him but believes he can still improve significantly in that area of his game.
The right-hander recently returned from the tour where West Indies suffered a 2-0 clean sweep, losing the first Test by an innings and 67 runs and the second by 240 runs – both inside four days.
Left-arm pacers Neil Wagner and Trent Boult proved the undoing of the Windies, employing the short ball to good effect to rattle the visitors in both Tests.
“It [rising delivery] was a bit challenging earlier on in my career and against Pakistan, I had some issues with it. Against England, I had some issues with it but I thought in the New Zealand series, the batting coach Toby Radford and I did a lot of work on it,” Chase told Barbados Today online newspaper.
“We worked on different ways to play the delivery in order to get around it and it has helped me a lot. I feel a lot more comfortable playing it, even though I haven’t yet mastered it.”
Chase managed just one half-century on the tour, 64 in the second innings of the final Test in Hamilton with the Windies set a world-record 444 for victory.
Overall, he mustered 99 runs at an average of 24, representing the second series this year in foreign conditions where he struggled to get among the runs, following on from a dismal summer tour of England.
In that three-Test tour, Chase gathered a paltry 80 runs from six innings, but noted had found the notorious English conditions challenging.
“They always say in England your first tour is a tough tour and the ball was doing a bit more and much later than usual in my natural Caribbean conditions, so that was the main challenge for me with the bat,” said Chase.
“So I think it was a learning experience for me there and my aim is to move forward.”
He continued: “In New Zealand I wouldn’t say the conditions were as tough as in England but the ball was still doing a bit. Nothing that I haven’t seen before because I wasn’t out of form or anything like that, it’s just that I didn’t get runs.
“I felt great at the wicket when I was batting but I just didn’t get big runs, even though I was thankful for the half century in the last innings which give me a bit of confidence knowing I could score runs in foreign conditions.”
His tournament-leading 403 runs at an average of 100.75 in the three-Test series against Pakistan in the Caribbean a few month ago was the highlight of Chase’s year.
He plundered hundreds in the second Test in his native Barbados and in the final match in Dominica.
That form led to his call-up to the one-day side, though he lasted a mere eight matches before being dropped after scoring only 68 runs in six innings.
But with series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at home and then tours of India and Bangladesh to follow later in the year, Chase says he is intent on making his mark with heavy scoring.
“I need to work on my batting, obviously my bowling as well, but I think next year seeing that I am more experienced now, I will be looking for a thousand runs next year,” said the 25-year-old.
“I think that would be a good objective for me to reach. Also I would like to get back in the ODI team, and I will be working hard towards that next year.”