'I'm trying to turn over a new leaf' - Windies batsman Hope hopes to hit ground running on Test return

By Sports Desk June 09, 2021

Recalled West Indies batsman, Shai Hope, has targeted making a solid start on his return to Test cricket ahead of the team’s series against South Africa, which bowls off on Thursday.

The 27-year-old batsman last played for the red ball team in July of last year, after being dropped for a poor run of form in Test cricket ahead of the New Zealand series, in November of last year.

After taking the time off to focus on a few technical inconsistencies and fine-tuning his mental approach, Hope was selected as part of a final 13-man squad for the upcoming Test series earlier this week.

 The batsman impressed selectors with his performance in the West Indies Best vs Best practice match, where he scored 79 in the first innings and 104 in the second.  In addition to that, he also made 68 in a practice match against Sri Lanka earlier this year.  The player is hoping that kind of form translates if he takes the pitch for the upcoming series.

“I want to be clearer in my thought processes and obviously, achieve overall success.  I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and start a fresh book, so hopefully, I can hit the ground running if I get a chance to go out there,” Hope told members of the media.

“Cricket covers different aspects, both technical and mental.  So, I have been working on different things.  The main thing is just to get success out there and I believe in finding a way.  I just need to find a way to score runs for the team.”

 

Related items

  • 'It comes down to discipline' - Windies skipper Brathwaite insists team must find ways to focus on batting longer 'It comes down to discipline' - Windies skipper Brathwaite insists team must find ways to focus on batting longer

    West Indies captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, admits a recurring problem is the team's ability to spend longer at the crease, on the back of a dismal performance against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded tour.

    With very few exceptions, the Windies batsmen struggled to make an impact against a crafty Sri Lanka spin attack, which anchored a dominant 2-0 series win for the hosts in Galle.  A closer look at the team’s batting statistics did not make for good reading. 

    In two matches, only three batsmen managed a combined total of over 100 runs.  Nkrumah Bonner was the team’s most successful batsman putting up a total of 148, over the two matches, with a high score of 68 and an average of 49.33.  Brathwaite was next with 119, his average working out to 29.75, with a high score of 72.  Jermaine Blackwood was the third batsman to reach triple figures after totalling 109, averaging 27.25 and getting a high score of 44.

    By comparison, Sri Lanka had five players total over 100 over both Tests, with two, Dhananjaya de Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne, getting over 200 runs.

    When it comes to partnerships, the West Indies had only one that was worth 100 runs, which took place between Bonner and Da Silva in 44 overs.  By comparison, Sri Lanka achieved the feat 6 times.

    “Batting-wise we let ourselves down, we just didn’t get big enough totals to cause any pressure on Sri Lanka,” Brathwaite said, following the match.

    With the West Indies set to face England in January of next year, the captain believes the team must find ways to work on its concentration if things are to improve.

    “Really and truly it all boils down to having the discipline and doing it for long periods.  I don’t think it will change in terms of spin-friendly conditions or batting in the Caribbean,” he added. 

    “Wherever you may play, it’s about having that discipline throughout to bat for longer periods, I think that’s what we need.  We are showing that we can do it, but we are not doing it for long enough.”

     

  • Ackeem Auguste to lead as CWI names squad for ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Ackeem Auguste to lead as CWI names squad for ICC U19 Cricket World Cup

    Cricket West Indies has named a 15-member squad and five reserves to contest the ICC Under 19 World Cup to be held in the West Indies from January 14 to February 5, 2022.

  • Agarwal ton anchors India innings as Kohli falls for a duck Agarwal ton anchors India innings as Kohli falls for a duck

    Mayank Agarwal held India's innings together with a terrific century on day one of the second Test against New Zealand, as Virat Kohli's return to the team saw the captain dismissed for a duck.

    India posted 221-4 in Mumbai, with Agarwal 120 not out at stumps after a valiant effort at the top of the order.

    All the wickets went to New Zealand's left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, who at one point reduced India from 80-0 to 80-3 when he removed Shubman Gill for 44 and added the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli in quick succession.

    Kohli had spoken on Thursday of being determined to go the "hard yards" where necessary for India's sake, having missed the recent T20I series and the first Test in order to take a breather.

    Ajaz had Gill caught by Ross Taylor at slip before bowling Pujara with a heavily turning delivery and getting an lbw verdict to dismiss Kohli, who was not reprieved by a review with no sign of an inside edge.

    Partners came and went, but Agarwal - who kept his place in the team while Ajinkya Rahane missed out through injury - ploughed on, making a case to stay in the side for India's next assignments, although Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul may have something to say about that. Rohit has been rested for this series, which Rahul has missed due to injury.

    Shreyas Iyer, who had a century and a fifty in the first Test, fell for 18 this time around to end an 80-run partnership for the fourth wicket, and Agarwal and Wriddhiman Saha (25no) put on 61 to guide India through to the close with no further casualties, leaving the deciding match of a two-game series finely poised.


    Agarwal earns his place

    A cover drive off Daryl Mitchell took Agarwal into three figures, his fourth Test century. He then spanked Ajaz for six from the penultimate ball of the evening to cap an impressive day's effort. Agarwal has converted two of his previous tons into doubles, against South Africa and Bangladesh, and will hope to do the same here, having revealed some words of advice from coach Rahul Dravid.

    "He had told me, 'When you get set, make it big'," Agarwal said. "I am happy to have capitalised on the start that I had. But that message was very clear from Rahul, that I should make it count.

    "This innings was more about grit and determination, just to stick with the plan and be disciplined. I know I didn't look good sometimes, but I got the job done. Getting runs in this format, the hardest format of the game, is the most satisfying feeling."

    Special day for Ajaz

    Four wickets anywhere is good going for a bowler, but for Ajaz this doubtless felt particularly special. He was born in Mumbai and emigrated with his family to New Zealand in 1996, going on to make his Test debut in 2018. Now 33 years old, he put India in a spin and will be chasing a third Test five-wicket haul on Saturday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.