Hope optimistic ODI unit can replicate Test team's triumph against Australia in white-ball series

By January 31, 2024
HOPE...Everyone's up and ready to roll HOPE...Everyone's up and ready to roll

Having watched the Kraigg Brathwaite-captained Test team defy the odds in the second of their two-match series against Australia, West Indies One-Day International captain Shai Hope is optimistic that his unit will not only continue that momentum, but more importantly, replicate the feat in their three-match series.

There was much talk about the Test team and its seven uncapped players, among them rising fast bowler Shamar Joseph, who braved a toe injury to snare a seven-wicket haul and lead West Indies to a famous eight-run win –their first in Australia in 27 years.

With the excitement of that victory still very much fresh in the air, Hope and is unit, which includes five players from the Test squad, is intent on extending the celebrations.

The three-match series bowls off on Thursday at 10:30pm.

“It was a very inspiring win that they had in the last Test. It’s great momentum for us, of course it’s a different format, but great signs for us to continue what happened in the last Test in this ODI series,” Hope said in a pre-game press conference.

“It (the mood in the camp) is pretty good. Everyone's up and ready to roll. Seeing some of these grounds here in Australia, that in itself (makes you) want to play cricket so the guys are upbeat and ready to go,” he added.

It was a mixed bag for West Indies last year where results are concerned with their failed World Cup qualifying campaign and a loss to India at the height of their disappointments. However, they rebounded with 3-0 and 2-1 series victories over United Arab Emirates (UAE) and England, followed by a stalemate with South Africa.

Despite the fact that they have won seven of 12 ODIs last year, Hope is mindful that West Indies is yet to beat Australia in a series in almost three decades.

“Like we always say in the dressing room, every game matters, not necessarily about series or an opponent. You have to take every single game as a final and it's nice to see that the guys are really taken to the new system and the we're trying to play our cricket. So yeah, it's just one game at a time and then the results will take care of themselves,” Hope noted.

That said, Hope welcomed the challenge for his fairly inexperienced squad, which includes eight players with 10 or less ODIs under their belts, as they commence the rebuilding phase to towards possible qualification for the next ODI World Cup in four years. Teddy Bishop and Tevin Imlach are both uncapped.

“Yeah, it's I think it's great to widen that pool and what is a better way to start a career than here in Australia for some of the guys. But yes, I think four years seems like a long time, but it really isn't and as much games as these guys can play over that span, I think it's going to widen the pool and then give us a headache when that time comes to hopefully select a strong squad, and then they would also gain a lot more experience with that time,” Hope, who has been at the helm for almost a year declared.

WEST INDIES – Shai Hope (captain), Alzarri Joseph, Alick Athanaze, Teddy Bishop, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Matthew Forde, Justin Greaves, Kavem Hodge, Tevin Imlach, Gudakesh Motie, Kjorn Ottley, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.

AUSTRALIA – Steve Smith (captain), Travis Head, Sean Abbott, Xavier Bartlett, Nathan Ellis, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Lance Morris, Matt Short, Adam Zampa

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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