West Indies batting legend, Brian Lara sees quite a bit of talent in the Windies squads currently hunting for a resurgence in world cricket but there is still work to be done.

Lara, speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, for instance, believes talented 23-year-old Shimron Hetmyer has personal issues like his fitness that he needs to deal with before he is quite ready to take the world by storm.

“People have challenges in different ways and Hetmyer, obviously, is a very talented cricketer, someone who plays all forms of the game for the West Indies. If he is unfit, he has to see it as a personal challenge. Fitness levels are so very important. So if fitness is his problem, I would like to see him face that challenge himself, and he’ll be a much better cricketer,” said Lara.

Lara though, has much more immediate hopes for others in the West Indies squad like Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran and Alzarri Joseph.

According to the former Windies captain, Pooran understands his role in the team, while the West Indies can find Hope’s stability useful, even in the T20 form of the game, while Joseph is a gamechanger with his ability to take wickets.

“I like Nicholas Pooran, he’s settling down and understanding his responsibilities more now. Shai Hope could play a part in the T20 World Cup, being that solid guy with a great technique that can hold the innings together. Those are the three players I’m really looking forward to seeing. Alzarri Joseph is someone who I look at and say ‘this guy has got potential, he’s a wicket-taker’. He is someone who I’d like to see do well,” said Lara.

Lara, as he has said before, believes the team can learn much from the example of Virat Kohli.

Kohli, he said, has worked hard on his fitness and that, Lara explained, is the perfect lead for Hetmyer to follow.

Darren Bravo marked his return with a stroke-filled century as West Indies had their first warm-up match on the ongoing tour against the Sri Lanka Cricket XI on Monday at the P Sara Oval.

The experienced left-hander hit 14 fours and a six in an even 100 – before he retired. He faced just 88 balls and played a number of powerful shots on both side of the wicket but was particularly eye-catching driving through the covers. His effort helped the West Indies post 282 all out off 48.4 overs.

The score, however, wasn’t enough as the Sri Lanka XI made 283-8 off 47.3 overs.

Bravo shared in two crucial partnerships as the West Indies batsmen looked to get valuable time in the middle ahead of the ODI series, which starts on Saturday. He added 113 with Sunil Ambris, who made 41 off 63 balls with six boundaries.

After Ambris fell, Nicholas Pooran joined Bravo and the pair of left-handers dominated the bowling with a stand of 79 in just 12 overs. Pooran, who made his maiden international century against Sri Lanka at last year’s World Cup, scored 41 off 38 balls, with two fours and two huge sixes. In the backend Fabian Allen (28) and Jason Holder (22) played cameos to boost the total.

“My goal was to spend at much time as possible at the crease. I had a particular game plan and it worked out so I’m confident going into the One-Day Series, later this week,” said Bravo.

In the second half of the match, left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell (2-22) was sensational with the new ball to have the home side two wickets down in the first over.

Left-arm spinner Fabian Allen (2-62) and leg-spinner Hayden Walsh (2-52) both bowled well but they were trumped by a brilliant knock of 120 from former Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga, who hit 16 fours and a six off 124 balls.

The West Indies will remain in Colombo this week, where they will have another warm-up match against the SLC XI on Thursday.

The first ODI is at the Sinhalese Sports Club on Saturday.

Prime minister of Grenada and outspoken CARICOM official Dr Keith Mitchell believes the use of promising Windies talents over multiple formats could prove a hindrance in their future development.

Currently, the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, and Shai Hope, who lead a group of the next generation of talented Windies players, play both the 50 over and T20 formats or all three.  The practice is not at all uncommon as the evolution of the sport has offered different advantages to players taking part in multiple formats.  Particularly the lucrative T20 format, which offers major cash incentives.

Mitchell, however, believes that different temperaments and various styles needed to be successful in the different formats could prove damaging to young players still honing their craft.

"We have some talented players, the Poorans and Hetmyers and so on. I’m not sure that the right thing is to play these young people in all formats of the game at this point in time,” Mitchell explained in a recent interview.

“You have talent in Pooran and Hetmyer – these guys on the 50-over and on the Test team, we’d be moulding these guys. But when a guy gets used to sixes and sixes and hitting the ball in the air in the 20-over game which they must do, I think the mindset if they’re not well-developed yet … you can be spoiling a talent that is there for the [longest] version of the game and the 50-over game,” he added.

“That’s my opinion; I might be wrong … but in watching it from the sidelines, I think it is something [CWI] and selectors must look at – do you need to play these young players in all versions of the game? I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do.”

West Indies coach Phil Simmons is not be concerned that the life-changing contract awarded to Sheldon Cottrell to play for the Kings XI Punjab in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will impact his cricket.

For the moment, West Indies batsman Shai Hope can count himself as one of the top ten batsmen in One-Day International Cricket after scoring heavily against India in a just-concluded three-match series in that country.

Hope will end the year as the number nine batsman in the world, jumping five places on the ICC ODI Player Rankings after scoring 222 runs in those three matches at an average of 111.

Hope opened up in Chennai, helping the West Indies to a 1-0 series lead with an unbeaten 102, before he made things interesting despite losing efforts from the West Indies.

Hope would go on to score 72 in Visakhapatnam, and 42 in Cuttack to end the year with four centuries in 2019 and a healthy average of over 60, above his lifetime average of 52. The ODI top-order batsman now has eight centuries and became the quickest West Indian batsman to reach 3000 runs in the format. Only Hashim Amla has gotten to 3000 runs faster.

Hope lies ahead of all West Indies ODI batsmen, even Shimron Hetmyer, who has also seen improvement in his ICC ODI ranking. Hetmyer now lies at 19 in the world, while Nicholas Pooran, another player from West Indies’ young and exciting middle-order, now stands at 30th in the world, up from 63 after scoring 193 runs at an average of 96.50.

Hetmyer scored 180 runs at an average of 60.

Nicholas Pooran was always a talented batsman but fell off the wagon after a car crash left him unable to walk for six months.

His return to international cricket has revitalized a West Indies batting line-up accused of being altogether too inconsistent.

Pooran though, averaging 52 from his 19 games since his return to cricket, has helped to give his side the confidence that makes a dangerous side with the bat.

While that revival isn’t complete, Pooran is grateful that he has come this far and is thanking his skipper, Kieron Pollard, for making it possible.

“He’s been like a big brother to me, a father-figure. He’s been there since I returned to cricket. He gave me opportunity. I’m thankful for that,” said Pooran.

Pooran has already begun repaying Pollard the faith he put in him, scoring 29 not out off 23 balls, 75 off 47 balls and 89 off 64 balls in a recently concluded ODI series against India.

But it isn’t just off the field that Pollard has been there for Pooran, as batting with his father figure has helped him as well.

In the final ODI against India on Sunday, Pollard batted with the West Indies middle order to help them post a challenging 315-5, himself ending unbeaten on 74.

“We play with each other, with the same club, same franchise back home. So we had a good understanding of the wicket and the situation in the game and just executed our skills,” said Pooran, who scored 89 from 64 deliveries in a partnership that took the West Indies from 144-4 in the 32nd over to 279-5 in the 48th when he finally got out.

“We know how to complement each other. Polly was stronger to the spinners, so we allowed him to attack Kuldeep (Yadav) and I would try and play more shots to the pacers. It worked out,” said Pooran.

The middle-order batting has shown some improvement, but the ease with which India got to 316-6, doing so in the 49th over, winning their second series against the Windies at home this month, suggests there is still work to be done.

“Definitely we were on a team-building (mode). India are one of the strongest teams in the world. They proved that again today in the T20I and ODI series. At least we came here and we showed fight,” said Pooran.

Pooran, no stranger to adversity after fighting his way back to fitness after his accident, strongly believes the West Indies are on their way back to being the best team in the world.

“There are better things to come. We are taking it day-by-day and eventually we’ll get where we want to get,” he said.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is taking a positive outlook on his team’s four-wicket loss to India in Cuttack on Sunday.

Virat Kohli made a 55th ODI half-century following fireworks from Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard as India pulled off a big run chase to beat West Indies by four wickets and win the series 2-1.

Pooran (89 from 64 balls) and Pollard (74 not out off 51) bludgeoned 118 runs off the last 10 overs to get the Windies up to an imposing 315-5 at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Sunday.

That was not sufficient for the tourists to secure a first bilateral ODI series win over India for 13 years, though, as the second-ranked side in the world reached their target in the penultimate over.

Rohit Sharma hit a run-a-ball 63, while KL Rahul (77) and Kohli (85) also made half-centuries before Ravindra Jadeja (39no) and Shardul Thakur (17no) finished off the job. 

Keemo Paul was the pick of the bowlers with 3-59 and Shai Hope became the second-fastest to 3000 ODI runs, but that was scant consolation for Pollard's men.

The Windies got off to steady start after being put in by Kohli and Evin Lewis fell for a scratchy 21 before Hope was bowled playing across the line to a delivery from Mohammed Shami.

Shimron Hetmyer (37) struck a couple of lusty sixes but became Navdeep Saini's first ODI victim after he was put down by Rishabh Pant and Roston Chase (38) lost his off stump to a yorker from the debutant.

Pooran, also dropped by Pant, and Pollard cut loose with a devastating late onslaught, the former reaching his half-century with a second six in an expensive over from Kuldeep Yadav.

The majestic Pooran missed out on his hundred when he was removed by Shardul in the 48th over, but Pollard swelled his tally of sixes to seven to leave India facing a big run chase.

Rohit and Rahul - centurions in the second ODI - made a great start, the former stepping on the accelerator with a six and four in the fourth over from Jason Holder as the openers scored at around a run a ball for the first 15 overs.

Rahul was the first to reach his half-century after the 100 stand was brought up and Rohit moved to his 43rd ODI fifty, but was gone after edging Holder behind.

The elegant Rahul gloved Alzarri Joseph to Hope and India were 201-4 with 15 overs to bowl after Paul removed Shreyas Iyer and Pant in successive overs.

Kohli coasted to his half-century from only 51 with an array of sublime strokes and positive running, with India needing 79 for victory off the last 10 overs, but there was stunned silence when he chopped on attempting to drive Paul through the off side.

India required 30 from 23 balls when Kohli trudged off, but Shardul hooked Sheldon Cottrell for six in a 48th over that cost 15 runs and Jadeja showed his all-round class as India got home with eight balls to spare.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is not yet a frustrated man but the big all-rounder is noticing a trend with his side he would like to put an end to.

"I thought we gave it away in the last 20 overs with the ball, didn't execute well,” said Pollard, voicing a sentiment he has on at least three occasions since the start of a tour to India.

The West Indies were bat out of a game against India in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday after the hosts posted a mammoth 387-5 with man-of-the-match, Rohit Sharma, slamming 159 from 138 deliveries and KL Rahul more than helping with 102 from 104 balls. All-rounder, Shreyas Iyer, scoring 53 from 32 to help push the score along as the West Indies gave up too many in the closing stages of the first innings.

The West Indies, in reply, scored 280 all out in 43.3 overs, with Shai Hope, 78, and Nicholas Pooran, 75, doing the bulk of the scoring. Keemo Paul also had an enterprising cameo, scoring 46, to take the visitors to the total.

Still, Pollard believes the batting of India shows there is reason to fear the power the West Indies batting line-up has on offer.

“It goes to show in order for them to win, they've to score big against us,” said the skipper.

Again, Pollard reminded his charges that there were little things the team had to get right if they were to turn some of these losses to wins.

“For us, it's looking to improve in small areas. We weren't able to execute our plans like we would've liked. Maybe 40-50 runs less, it would've been much different,” said Pollard.

Pollard did give some of the credit for the nature of the defeat to the opposition, saying the start the openers gave the Indian middle-order made things easy for them.

“Credit to them, Rohit and KL batted well, it allowed the guys lower down the order to come and score freely.”

The series is now tied at one apiece with one ODI remaining and Pollard has issued a warning to the hosts that the one-sidedness of the defeat doesn’t mean the West Indies have dropped their shoulders or that the series won’t still go the way of the visitors.

“Pooran and Hetmyer - talented youngsters who I've spoken about earlier. Hope too has shown consistency in the way he goes about his game. It's a matter of putting the pieces of the puzzle together, nothing happens overnight. We deserve to go out with a bang, our heads and shoulders are still high. We'll come back and fight hard in a couple of days."

Rohit Sharma smashed his seventh one-day international century of 2019 before Kuldeep Yadav took a hat-trick as India levelled their series against West Indies with a 107-run victory.

An opening partnership worth 227 between Rohit (159) and KL Rahul (102) laid the platform for the home side to post 387-5, with Shreyas Iyer (53) and Rishabh Pant (39) providing late fireworks after captain Virat Kohli fell for a golden duck.

Some brutal hitting from Shai Hope (78) and Nicholas Pooran (75) gave the Windies belief, yet Mohammed Shami (3-39) struck in back-to-back deliveries as visiting skipper Kieron Pollard was also dismissed first ball.

Kuldeep (3-52) then became the first Indian to claim two ODI hat-tricks as Kohli's side bowled West Indies out for 280 to wrap up the win with 6.3 overs to spare, setting up a decider in the third and final ODI on Sunday.

Rohit, the leading run-scorer in ODIs this year, was dropped on 70 by Shimron Hetmyer in the 28th over and he went on to beat his partner Rahul to three figures.

It was Rohit's seventh ODI century in 2019 and his 10th across all formats; only Sachin Tendulkar with nine centuries in 1998 has accrued more three-figure scores in the 50-over game across a calendar year.

Rahul soon joined him in bringing up that milestone but he fell later that over when he picked out third man, and India lost wickets in successive overs as Kohli offered Roston Chase a simple catch at short midwicket off Pollard.

Rohit became the first Indian to score 150 in an ODI this year with a fifth maximum of his innings and, after he nicked Sheldon Cottrell behind, Iyer and Pant hit the accelerator, the pair scoring 55 across the 46th and 47th overs to leave the tourists chasing a huge total.

Opener Hope was dropped at slip by Rahul from his first ball faced but India picked up three wickets in quick succession to go from 61 without loss to 86-3.

Hetmyer fell to some fantastic fielding from Iyer, who dove to save a boundary before recovering and delivering a pinpoint throw to the non-striker's end, though Hope and Pooran soon took the field out of the equation with some huge hitting.

In among his six maximums, Pooran was dropped, yet his 106-run stand with Hope was eventually ended when he top-edged down to Kuldeep.

Pollard was removed from the very next ball – the first time in ODIs both captains had been dismissed for golden ducks – and while Shami could not get a hat-trick, Kuldeep did.

Hope was the first of that trio to go, Kohli leaping up and balancing on one leg by the rope to take the catch, with Jason Holder stumped and Alzarri Joseph edging to second slip.

Shami, now the leading wicket-taker in ODIs this year, took his 41st wicket of 2019 by bowling Keemo Paul (46) to seal the win.

Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope scored centuries to help West Indies ease to an eight-wicket victory over India in the first game of the ODI series.

India put West Indies to the sword in the decider of the three-match Twenty20 series, but the hosts will need to produce a turnaround to triumph in the 50-over format after an excellent performance from the tourists.

An early blitz from Sheldon Cottrell helped restrict India to 287-8, a score that proved well within the reach of Kieron Pollard's side as their top order delivered in stunning fashion.

Hetmyer recorded the biggest score of his ODI career with 139, while Hope - who finished unbeaten on 102 - guided them across the line to secure a 1-0 lead with two games to play.

Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium witnessed Cottrell's trademark celebratory salute twice in the seventh over, as he drew a leading edge from KL Rahul, who found Hetmyer at short mid on, before then bowling Virat Kohli as the India skipper edged onto his stumps.

Rohit Sharma went for 36 but Shreyas Iyer (70) furthered his case to be India's long-term number four, while Rishabh Pant (71) and Kedar Jadhav (40 off 35) made sure India had a respectable total to defend.

Their hopes of turning that score into a winning one appeared to be boosted when Sunil Ambris was trapped lbw for nine by Deepak Chahar at the start of West Indies' reply.

However, it proved a false dawn for India, who had no answer for the partnership of Hetmyer and Hope, the duo adding 218.

Hetmyer's destructive display saw him hit 11 fours and seven sixes before he holed out to the midwicket boundary off the bowling Mohammed Shami.

Hope picked up where Hetmyer left off, though, and brought up his century with a six and a four off Chahar, with Nicholas Pooran smashing three fours to rush West Indies to a remarkably impressive win.

West Indies white-ball cricket captain, Kieron Pollard is not paying attention to the difference in ranking between his side and India who are currently locked at a win apiece in their three-match T20i series.

West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran, by all accounts, is a very talented player, who could do great things on the international scene, and his 38 not out to help his side to an 8-wicket win over India in the second T20 between the two in Thiruvanthapuram on Sunday is evidence of that fact.

According to Pooran though, his talent isn’t enough to help him do well for the West Indies or even keep his place, and that he has to work hard.

“I work very hard and happy it's finally paid off. I believe in my processes and glad it's coming off,” said Pooran, who came to the crease with the West Indies on 112-2 in chase of India’s 170 in the 14th over.

Six overs later it was all over, as Pooran took over from Lendl Simmons, who scored a classy 67 from 45 deliveries, slamming four boundaries and two sixes in 18 balls to take the West Indies to 173-2

That type of innings, Pooran said, was not difficult, because the hard work has already been done.

“Cricket's all about having fun. I've put in a lot of hard work, so now is time for having fun,” he said.

Pooran explained after the game that places in the middle order of the West Indies side comes at a premium with the type of talent that lies in it but that was good for the team.

“There's a bit of competition in the middle order, but we all want to do good, that's all,” he said.

Earlier Evin Lewis had scored 40 and Shimron Hetmyer, 23, in a bid to chase down India’s 170, which they were restricted to thanks to Hayden Walsh Jr’s 2-28 and Kesrick Williams’ 2-30.

Those bowling figures, along with the start from Lewis and Simmons, meant there was no pressure for Pooran.

“To be honest, we had no pressure. Tried not to panic, tried to build partnerships.”

Lendl Simmons revealed his "old-school" approach had been pivotal to his match-winning knock in West Indies' Twenty20 victory over India in Thiruvananthapuram.

Simmons' unbeaten 67 from 45 balls helped the Windies to an eight-wicket triumph, ensuring the series will go to a decider as he capitalised on being dropped with just six runs to his name in one of several fielding errors to irk India captain Virat Kohli.

Despite a slow start, Simmons soon accelerated through the gears and his eye-catching outing included four fours and the same number of sixes.

As he was presented with the player of the match award, Simmons said the pacing of his innings was all part of the plan.

"I like playing against India, it's a good challenge," he said, having been ably assisted by Evin Lewis (40), Nicholas Pooran (38 not out) and Shimron Hetmyer (23).

"I haven't played international cricket for a while, so I'm enjoying it. I didn't start how I wanted to. My partners can go from ball one, but I am a bit old school.

"With experience, you know your game, and I understand my role. It was easier to bat after the powerplay, getting the odd boundary.

"Pooran and Hetmyer were getting boundaries easily so I played the different role."

A frustrated Kohli conceded his side had come up short with their total of 170-7 but felt their complacency in the field had been telling.

"I think we were good for 16 overs while batting, but then in the last four overs we got only 30. We need to focus on that," he said.

"But if we field so poorly, no amount of runs will be enough. We were poor in the field in the last two games.

"We dropped two catches in one over. Imagine if they lost two wickets in the same over.

"Everyone saw we need to be braver with our fielding. Do or die game coming up in Mumbai [on Wednesday]."

Lendl Simmons guided West Indies to an eight-wicket thumping of India in the second Twenty20 international in Thiruvananthapuram, setting up a series decider in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Simmons finished unbeaten on 67 from 45 balls, having received able support from Evin Lewis (40), Shimron Hetmyer (23) and the returning Nicholas Pooran (38 not out) as the Windies reached a target of 171 with nine deliveries unused.

Shivam Dube had earlier compiled a maiden half-century for the hosts, impressing with 54 from 30 balls after being surprisingly promoted to number three, yet Virat Kohli's men were ultimately overpowered as West Indies hit 12 sixes to India's five.

The tourists were 26 without loss after five overs, but they accelerated in devastating fashion thereafter to win with ease.

Simmons was the star turn, hitting four fours and as many sixes as he took full advantage of being dropped by Washington Sundar on six, while Pooran scored at a strike-rate of 211 on his comeback from a four-match ban for ball-tampering.

Lewis and Hetmyer also provided the necessary impetus to get the Windies ahead of the required rate, the latter thumping three maximums before falling victim to a stunning Virat Kohli catch at long-on, which saw India's captain take the ball on the run before contorting his body superbly to avoid touching the boundary rope.

India were left to rue Sundar putting down a routine chance off Bhuvneshwar Kumar to give Simmons an early life, though, and Lewis was also dropped on 17 by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Dube, who cleared the ropes four times, and Pant (33 not out) were the only home batsmen to make significant contributions to a score of 170-7, as the Windies' attack kept things relatively tight despite conceding a glut of extras.

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