Purely from a West Indian perspective, February 9, 2023, would not be just any other cricketing date.

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Purely from a West Indian perspective, February 9, 2023, would not be just any other cricketing date.

It would, if truth be bared, hold an even more significant meaning from the context of Barbados.

Unless he fires one now, this date will mark four years since one of their most talented- and important- exports to West Indies cricket hit a Test match century.

Four years back the England team under Joe Root completed a massive 232 run victory over the West Indies at the Daren Sammy stadium in St. Lucia.

But central to anything even close to solid or worthy of being called a West Indian batting response was this 102 run knock by Roston Chase.

On a bouncy wicket where the likes of Darren Bravo, Hope, Hetmyer and even Kraigg Brathwaite floundered, Roston Chase appeared to be batting on a different plane altogether.

He was defiant against Mark Wood’s imperious pace and appeared solid against Anderson and Broad.

The glowing off drives and the rasp cuts well accompanied the gentle nudges off the hips.

But such a vital knock hasn’t quite been seen again in the contests that followed.

And this barren period is nearly half a decade of having played Test match cricket. It isn’t, by the furthest stretch of imagination, a small time period.

As a matter of fact, from the onset of 2020 until the end of 2022, Roston Chase has managed just 429 runs having played some 13 Test matches.

But what are the odds of these returns being considered dubiously mediocre?

Well, the chances aren’t despicably low.

The 13 Test matches Chase has played from 2020 until 2022 have translated into some 25 innings and it is only then that they’ve birthed those 429 runs.

In fact, so shell shocked might you become when you realise that Roston Chase has only hit 1 fifty each year from 2020 onwards up to this point; he’s not even managed to score multiple fifties in past several cricketing summers whether batting in or away from the Caribbean.

In such time, batsmen far inexperienced than the lanky Barbadian have forged successful international careers.

Think of the wonderful Shubman Gill with his Gabba knock in the fourth inning of a daunting run chase.

Forget not Pathum Nissanka of Sri Lanka whose Test batting average is already 39.

Think Marnus Labuchagne, who despite playing 12 fewer Tests than Chase’s tally of 45 Test matches has already scored 3,150 runs.

All this while, the affable and simple Roston Chase has managed 2,124 Test match runs and an average that’s several shades under 40, which is considered to be the most basic benchmark for a passionate and determined Test match specialist.

But in Roston Chase’s world- or so it seems- things happen at their own pace and only if they have to.

One doesn’t quite note the deep sense or urgency to get going for the West Indies. The knocks like the breathtaking centuries against Pakistan in the Caribbean during the 2017/2018 summer have quite simply vanished.

And frankly, the Chase we see today isn’t the hungry lad of 2017 who was determined to prove himself at the envy-inspiring level in the game.

The man who defied India of all teams in the Jamaica Test of 2017, which resulted in a crafty 137 and thus the mark of a successful beginning has really withered away.

Sad story being Roston Chase has been afforded many chances and can never complain that he wasn’t given a decent or fair run by his board.

But who knows, maybe the cricket board in the Caribbean would too have secretly grown bored of the man who once seemed promising but is today just like any other talent.

What’s worse is that there’s been such an underwhelming coverage regarding a premier West Indian batsman’s loss of form that one wonders whether there’s much care or concern about Chase.

Or is it that whether he plays or stumbles on the sidelines isn’t even the concern of that many? Or could it be that this is a career that’s grown lamer than that never ending OTT series featuring banal story lines contrived of any strand of reality.

The concerns, when examined carefully, don’t seem to leave the mild mannered batsman who bowls effective off spin at this level.

When playing away from the Caribbean, Roston Chase has hit just 995 runs from not less than 45 innings averaging just 21.

Do such figures warrant selection in the Test level.

Luckily for the batsman, the fan doesn’t elect a West Indies playing eleven for the way the right hander is going, one can’t speak with certainty whether anyone would pick him in even a fantasy team.

The key chance, however, is here. The Zimbabwean series promises a brand new opportunity for the nice natured Caribbean cricketer to make do for what have been horrible seasons of batting in the past

IPL 2023

Cricket is a game played by 22 but opined by millions.Caught At Point will try to inform you and humour you on the game’s newsmakers, trends and, emerging patterns. Expect those deserving praise to be celebrated and expect tons of ‘arsehattery’ gifted to those who’ve earned it.I’ll cricket sincerely,Dev Tyagi

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