Chase ideal for vice-captaincy job, says chief selector

Senior staff reporter

Monday, November 23, 2020

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Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief selector Roger Harper says Test batsman Roston Chase was best suited for the vice-captain role once it was decided that Kraigg Brathwaite would be relieved of the responsibility.

“We thought at this time Roston Chase would be the ideal person to continue to give [Test skipper] Jason Holder the sort of leadership support he would need both on and off the field,” Harper said recently during a virtual press conference after Chase was elevated to the position.

The West Indies team is currently in New Zealand ahead of two Test matches against the hosts, scheduled to start December 2 and 10 (Caribbean time) in Hamilton and Wellington, respectively.

Chase, the tall 28-year-old middle-order batsman, has played 35 Tests for the regional side, averaging 30.86. His off-spin bowling has earned him 69 wickets, including a best of 8-60, at 41.15.

During the Test series against England in the summer — which West Indies lost 1-2 — Chase tallied 157 runs in six innings at 26.16. He claimed 10 wickets at 34.

“Roston is a player with a fair amount of experience, he's a player who thinks deeply about his cricket…and we think he is tactically aware and he is willing to share his ideas and experiences,” Harper told journalists.

Opener Brathwaite, who turns 28 next month, was in the midst of a prolonged wretched run before the England tour. He barely held onto a place in the team, but eased some of the pressure, scoring two half-centuries while compiling 176 runs at 29.33 against the Englishmen.

A veteran of 62 Test matches, and with eight centuries to his name, an in-form Brathwaite is considered a valuable asset to the team.

“We thought it important at this time to allow Kraigg Brathwaite, who has been the vice-captain for the Test team for a while, to just pay a little more attention, [and] focus a little more on his batting,” Harper explained.

“He has not been in the best of form for a little while. I think he began to get himself together on the England tour, and we need him to build on this,” the West Indies lead selector said.

The powerful New Zealanders are especially difficult to beat at home, and West Indies have not won a Test series in that country since 1995. When West Indies last went there three years ago they were heavily beaten in both Tests.

In the International Cricket Council world Test team rankings, New Zealand are second behind Australia, while West Indies are rated eighth.

Test squad — Jason Holder (captain), Roston Chase (vice-captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach.

Reserves — Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Jayden Seales.

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