July 14, 2018.
The West Indies are battling to survive. On Day 2, they seemed certain winners but suddenly, on Day 3, they are clueless.
“Is that thing in our hands called a bat?”, it seems their batsmen wonder. “What does the bat do?”, seems the clear manner of their dismissals.
The 40th over of the West Indies’ second innings was mid-way.
The sun was shining but there was nothing sweet.
West Indies’ batting encouraged some to click selfies with empty stands as others opted to check their Tweets.
Then on the second ball of the over, middle-order specialist Roston Chase decided to up the ante of aggression.
Many thought, playing defensive was important.
But, of course, what do observers know of the game?
In came a straighter one from in-form Mehidy and Chase swept.
His shot brought wide smiles to the faces of Bangladesh camp; Courtney Walsh was the happiest man in Kingston.
It was, as if, someone had announced free KFC Chicken all year round in Jamaica.
All were proud of Roston Chase.
His stumps had gone packing.
They were mid-air, pointing to Gayle’s paradise up in the hills.
Back on the crease, the Barbadian had ensured when his team needed him to carry on, Dowrich well-set on the other end, he would leave.
True to his committed self, he’d carried forward a secret mission all were clueless about.
To him, Roston Chase was clear his time was up. He’d much rather have Blackwood take his place. And on current form, who knows, even Bishoo?
Heading into the second Test, he’d realised his talent lay elsewhere.
Of course, batting sensibly with his team crumbling, nearing capitulation didn’t interest him. Too dull a task.
Moreover, it would demand responsibility. Creative endeavours seem lucrative and free-flowing.
In fact, Roston Chase’ own favourite innings isn’t that match-saving 137.
He’s professed to have loved Kemar Roach’s dogged pinch-hitting against Sri Lanka as the greatest exhibition of batting he’s ever seen.
A leaked SMS to Brian Lara has Roston sharing candidly, “You know what Brian? Screw your 400. You were just a record-breaking batsman. But Bishoo, Roach, these are guys who take wickets too whilst throwing their bat at everything.”
He’s confessed to having spent a lot of time with night-watchman and occasional wicket-taker Devendra Bishoo of late.
Bisoo, might have made Roston Chase a convert.
No Chase is not converting to Hinduism.
He’s all set to direct a film.
What assured Chase about his decision was that he could realise he was doing something way better than his original ask of scoring- bowling maiden overs.
This is something Devendra Bishoo was originally paid for and did with some success, here and there.
Appropriately, in light of his recent achievements for West Indies cricket, his best score from previous 5 Tests being 32, Chase’s directorial debut is called ‘Shot Selection’.
In the dressing room, Holder asked his fellow Bajan about the title. Chase had shared, “This is the only thing I do consistently well.”
“What do you mean mate?”, asked Holder, to which Chase replied, “I mean I choose shots that give an opportunity to others to arrive at the crease.”
“Oh, alright, how selfless, good luck with that mate,” Holder wished his colleague and moved on.
Deep inside, Roston Chase knew his time was up when with the score reading 89-6, with all main batsmen gone (sadly, Devon Smith’s name included), he attempted a wild heave off Mehidy that fell just short of long-off.
That was it.
Universal Pictures have loved Roston Chase’ idea, a young, brilliant would-be talismanic batsman preferring to get into movie-making. Can there be a better way to ensure the West Indies stay in the limelight? Sunil Ambris, who heroically got hit-wicket in his debut Test and entered record books by accident may volunteer to act.
Rumour has it that another Barbadian, having re-made his name, this time for wobbling form- Hope- and Keemo Paul- the youngster who attempted a Chase-like wild hog on his debut Test delivery have volunteered to act in Chase’ flick.
That it is a flick, it shouldn’t be confused with the shot Roston was once a master of playing.
So far, it’s not clear that Lara would be invited for the release.