'Technically flawed Hope was never convincing Test batsman' - claims former first-class cricket wicketkeeper

By Sports Desk November 11, 2020

Barbados wicketkeeper-batsman Jamal Smith has labeled out-of-favour West Indies batsman Shai Hope as ‘technically flawed,’  and insists he was never convinced by the player’s Test cricket batting strength, despite heroics in England three years ago.

The 27-year-old was recently dropped from the West Indies squad for the tour of New Zealand, after a nightmare run of form had seen the player averaging 19.48 since December 2017 and just 14.45 since February 2019.

 On the England tour, the scene of his triumph three years ago, Hope averaged below 18 in a 2-1 defeat against England.  Overall, his Test cricket average has slipped to around 26.27.

“He never suggested to me, even with the games where he scored those two wonderful 100s, as far as the red ball is concerned that he is a force to be reckoned with,” the former Combined Campuses and Colleges player turned analyst told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“If I remember correctly, Shai Hope took a long time before he started to score runs in our regional first-class competition and do well…I think we are always looking for heroes.  Certainly, when Shai Hope is on the go, you’d pay your money for two cover drives, but at the end of the day Shai Hope has never suggested permanence at the top,” he added.

“It’s something that at Test level, I keep stressing on his strike rate. He bats about 80 to 90 balls and gets out somewhere between the 15s to 20s.  That suggests more to me, rather than him just having to adjust his mindset, that he is technically flawed.”

Smith believes the break from the team will provide the player with an opportunity to address some of those issues.

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