“Powell has brought different vibe” – Roston Chase says Windies captain encouraging unity, self-belief among squad

Andre Russell’s belligerent knock (71 off 29) and his match-defining 139-run stand with Sherfane Rutherford (67* off 40) alongside Roston Chase’s all-round brilliance (37 off 20 and 2-19) gave West Indies a 37-run win over Australia in the final T20I in Perth on Tuesday (February 13).

The result gave the visitors a consolatory victory to sign off the tour after Australia had already pocketed the series with wins in the previous two games.

Russell and Rutherford produced an explosive display to take West Indies to an imposing total of 220 – the highest score by a visiting side in Australia in this format.

The hosts tried to make a game of the big chase through David Warner (81 off 49) but lost too many wickets in the middle overs to eventually fall well short.

All-rounder Roston Chase believes captain Rovman Powell has been instrumental in improving the fortunes of the T20 unit, as the buildup continues to this year’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and North America.

Speaking following West Indies’ 37-run victory over Australia on Tuesday in Perth, Chase said Powell had instilled “a different vibe” in the camp, which had led to unity and self-belief among players.

The 30-year-old Powell was appointed captain a year ago, replacing Nicholas Pooran who quit after West Indies failed to qualify for the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022.

Powell subsequently led the Caribbean side to three straight series wins in 2023, defeating South Africa away and India and England at home.

“Obviously West Indies is a big cricketing nation [with] a lot of history, so to miss the last World Cup was heartbreaking for the team and also for the region,” Chase told reporters in Perth.

“But I think this team really have the belief in ourselves – this is our first real [series] loss as a team under the leadership of Rovman Powell.

“I think since he took up the role it has been a different vibe. He has been leading us very well and I want to say a ‘big up’ to Rovman Powell. I think he’s doing a really great job in leading the guys and giving the guys encouragement and keeping us gelled together, so I think he plays a big part.”

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy was also appointed head coach of the white-ball side last May, a move Chase said had already paid dividends.

“The coaching staff really helps us out a lot,” said the Barbadian, who has successfully reinvented himself as a white-ball cricketer ever since his Test career stuttered.

“They make it their job to give us everything we need to go out there and perform, although we may not have the facilities in the Caribbean like [in Australia]. But once we come on tour, these guys never say no to us so I think that really helps.”

West Indies’ win in Perth was a consolation one, having lost the opener in Hobart by 11 runs and the second in Adelaide by 34 runs.

And they needed the efforts of veteran ball-striker Andre Russell, the right-hander blasting a Man-of-the-Match 71 in helping West Indies to a challenging 220 for six.

Sherfane Rutherford, another batsman who plies his trade extensively on the franchise circuit, chipped in with an unbeaten 67 – his maiden T20 International fifty.

“The thing about this team is everyone enjoys each other’s success and the guys really gel together well,” Chase said of the side’s unity.

“Although we have some big superstars in the team, everyone still lives as a family and, as I said, enjoys each other’s success and wants everyone to do well, so I think that is something great that we have going in the team.”

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