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I Don't Play the Ball Before It's Released: Roston Chase Explains Success Against India

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: October 12, 2018, 8:53 PM IST

West Indies batsman Roston Chase said a return to his areas of strength - being patient and playing the ball on its merit - helped him succeed on the first day of the second Test against India in Hyderabad on Friday.

Chase remained unbeaten on 98 off 174 balls as Windies ended Day 1 on 295 for 7 - a marked improvement from the dismal show in the first game in Rajkot.

"I just took my time more than what I did in the first game," he said at the end of the match. "I was in a bit of a rush in the last game where I thought I just went away from my strengths and tried to over-hit the ball. On these fields, that's not necessary. I was working hard with my coaches and as I said in the press conference, it is about believing in the ability and processes. The results would come."

The latest knock extended Chase's good record against India; he made a match-saving 137* at Kingston two years earlier and had also made a fifty in the first-innings in Rajkot last week. Chase explained that playing spin on slow tracks in first-class cricket at home helped him build his game against spinners.

"I didn't worry about what was happening at the other end and was only looking to focus on my game. If a good ball comes, I just have to put the bat and move on. In the Caribbean in first-class cricket, spinners dominate the bowling and I've come across a lot of spin and turning pitches, so I am accustomed to playing spin bowling. I thought the wickets here would spin a lot more but they are really good.

Chase is just two short of what would be his fourth Test ton, but stressed he wouldn't lose his sleep over the landmark. His plan for himself is to play each ball as it comes, and hoped the team would go 'as far as they can'.

"I must say it's nothing major," he said when asked about his thought process for the upcoming day. "I have to wait and come back tomorrow. My process is simple - not to get too ahead of myself. I don't play the ball before it's released. Watch the ball and play as late as possible. We just have to bat as long as possible, go as far as possible. We'll have our discussion tomorrow in the huddle and take it from there."

West Indies' coach, Stuart Law was all praise for Chase and complimented him on the way he handled the Indian spinners.

"I think he understands spin. They face a lot of spin back in the Caribbean in domestic cricket. He has got a long reach and he takes half-a-stride and is there to the length of the crease. He uses that to his advantage, he is a clean striker of the ball," Law said.

Chase had batted an entire day to score a hundred against India in Jamaica in 2016. He had negated the Indian duo of Ashwin and Mishra for six hours to prize out a draw for his team.

"He does enjoy playing spin. He has worked hard against the pace and it's not a weakness any more. It has started becoming a strength," added Law.

"Coming to India, we expect to play a lot of spin. We are going from here to Bangladesh. We are going to face lot of spin over there too, so it's good the boys are getting a taste of spin here as well."

Law spoke highly of the fighting spirit displayed by Chase who has bailed West Indies out of difficult situations a number of times in the past couple of years.

"One thing he has got is that he loves fighting at the cricket ground. He is a quality player. He has been a bit quiet since England and Zimbabwe. He has had reasonable success there but since then by his own standards he has been a bit quiet. He got a 100 in the series against India two years back and he obviously likes playing their type of bowling," added Law.

"Chase has got a good temperament. He is a fantastic cricketer. He is not done yet, he has done a reasonable job today but he still needs to finish it off tomorrow."

Law said the practice sessions at the nets in India where they are exposed to a variety of spinners is great preparation coming into a Test.

"The great thing about coming to India is you get lot of net bowlers at most practice sessions and majority of those guys are spin. That's great learning for us."

Law added that Shardul Thakur's injury made things easier for them as India were a bowler short.

"Today, India are under a bit of pressure too with their young debutant getting injured. That put a lot of stress on the other quick as well."

First Published: October 12, 2018, 5:18 PM IST
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