Shai Hope makes encouraging return to international cricket

By March 14, 2021

On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these trending issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah.

 

England is among the T20 World Cup favourites.

 It is no secret that England has put a lot of focus on white-ball cricket in the last eight years. The results were clear when they trampled South Africa at the end of 2020 winning all three T20 games. It was at that point; they rose to the number one T20 team in the world. 

 Since then, they have dominated in this format of the game, having won their last five T20I and eight of their last T20I series overall. Despite struggles with their batting during the recently concluded Test series against India, it is evident that the English possess firepower in their T20 lineup.

 In the ongoing T20I against India, opener Jason Roy appears to be in great form, having blasted 49 of 32 balls. David Malan, who averages an excellent average of 54 in T20I, is also an asset with 24 from 20 balls while remaining not out.

 In this shorter format of the game, England’s rest and rotation policy has worked to their advantage and has been endorsed by England’s T20 captain Eoin Morgan.

One notable example of the benefit of their rotation policy is the performance of England’s pace bowler Jofra Archer. Having struggled with an elbow injury, the 25-year-old Archer missed two Tests in England’s 3-1 series defeat by India, he returned taking in 3 for 23 in the first T20I. 

The England Cricket and Wales Cricket Board has also maximized the benefits of having their players in the Indian Premier League. The ECB has made provisions for 13 of their players in this year’s IPL even at the expense of missing the first Test of the summer. 

“As a white-ball captain planning towards World Cups, certainly over the last five years, we’ve used it ( the IPL) and benefitted from it hugely in the development of our players and the confidence that we’ve built in the changing room in guys like Ben Stokes and Jos Butler going there and being MVP and bringing the knowledge they’ve learnt into our dressing room,” said Morgan is endorsing the move to allow their players the opportunity to play in the IPL.

A combination of all these factors places England among the favourites for the ICC T20 World Cup.

  Welcome back Shai Hope

West Indies right-hand batsman Shai Hope announced his return to international last Wednesday with his 10th ODI century as West Indies beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

Due to a lack of form, Hope was dropped for the West Indies tour of New Zealand. He missed the tour of Bangladesh after he was infected by the Covid-19 virus.

However, while his Test form has been poor, Hope has been among the best batsmen in the world in the 50-over version of the game.

In ODIs, he continues to stamp his authority, having amassed 3483 runs at an average of 53.58. The 27-year-old hit a brilliant century in the first T20 match against Sri Lanka and maintained that form in the second match ODI, scoring 84 from 104 balls.

His maturity opening the innings for the West Indies has helped his team and the fact that the West Indies have been winning recently and he has the backing of Captain Kieron Pollard, would have helped his confidence.

“For us in the white-ball cricket Hope is the guy. He has been given a role he gives us a foundation and others can bat around him. In one day, cricket, he’s been fantastic,” Pollard said after Hope’s century in the first ODI.

Hope will now be banking transferring his form to Test cricket where he could be a boon for the West Indies for the foreseeable future.

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Shai Hope says a desire to bat long has fueled his success after marking his 100th One-Day International with a brilliant 115 against India Shai Hope says a desire to bat long has fueled his success after marking his 100th One-Day International with a brilliant 115 against India

    West Indies batsman Shai Hope says his success in the One-Day International format is down to his desire to spend time at the crease.

    Hope celebrated his 100th ODI on Sunday at the Queen’s Park Oval with a brilliant 115 in a losing effort against India, his 13th century in the format to go along with 20 fifties.

    The Barbadian, who now has 4193 ODI runs at an excellent average of 49.91, became the fourth West Indian and 10th player to ever score a century in their 100th ODI. Ramnaresh Sarwan, Gordon Greenidge and Chris Gayle are the other West Indians to achieve this feat while New Zealand’s Chris Cairns, Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, England’s Marcus Trescothick, Australia’s David Warner and India’s Shikhar Dhawan make up the rest of that exclusive club.

    “I would just say my desire to bat as long as I can,” was Hope’s response in a post-match press conference when asked what he attributes his performances to.

    “I love batting and I always want to stay at the crease and do whatever I can for the team’s benefit. Just the desire and hunger to stay out there in the middle,” he added.

    Current opponents India have become somewhat of a favorite opponent for Hope as the numbers would suggest. He now has 855 runs at an average of 47.50 with three hundreds and four fifties in 22 matches against the 2011 World Cup winners.

    “They’re a very good opposition. I think playing against the best in the world usually brings out the best in myself. It’s something I’ve always looked forward to growing up and playing regional cricket so, it’s just one of those challenges that I try to grasp with both hands and, hopefully, I can continue that trend,” Hope said.

    So, how does Hope plan to keep up this level of performance?

    “The key is to try to keep learning. You never know it all so it’s just about trying to learn and develop as best as I can. It’s all about adding to your game,” he said.

    Hope’s next chance to add to his tally of runs will come when the West Indies play for pride in the third ODI against India on Wednesday in Port-of-Spain.

     

     

     

     

  • Hope's 115 in vain as West Indies lose second ODI by two wickets to India Hope's 115 in vain as West Indies lose second ODI by two wickets to India

    Shai Hope scored a magnificent century but it was not enough to prevent the West Indies from going 2-0 down after a thrilling two-wicket victory with two balls to spare at the Queens Park Oval in Trinidad on Sunday.

    The win means the home side’s seven-match losing streak continues as they ceded the three-match series to India with one match remaining.

    India started slowly but eventually got the measure of the West Indies attack with half-centuries from Shreyas Ayer (63) and Sanju Samson (54) but it was Axar Patel whose quick-fire 64 from 35 balls that powered India over the line with a straight six from the fourth ball of the final over bowled by Kyle Mayers.

    Mayers finished with 2-48 from 7.4 overs. Alzarri Joseph bowled well for his 2-46 from 10. Jayden Seales proved economical taking 1-40 from his allotment.

    Earlier, after the West Indies had won the toss and chose to bat first, Hope scored 115 as the West Indies posted 311-6 from their 50 overs.

    After sharing in an opening stand of 65 with Kyle Mayers who made 39, Hope also featured in a second-wicket partnership of 62 with Shamarh Brooks who contributed 32 before he too was dismissed after getting a start.

    Brandon King made nought from five balls before Hope and Captain Nicolas Pooran shared in a 127-run partnership for the fourth wicket that got the West Indies back on track for another score over 300. Pooran was eventually dismissed for 74 with the West Indies positioned at 280-5 in the 44th over.

    Hope finally fell in the 49th over, caught in the deep trying to hit over the long-off boundary as the West Indies' rate of scoring dipped. The home side managed 31 off the next six overs while also losing the wickets of Rovman Powell for 13 and Romario Shepherd for 14, something that West Indies would come to regret.

    Shardul Thakur was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 3-54 from his seven overs but India’s ability to restrict the West Indies' scoring in the death overs was largely due to the excellent bowling of Mohammad Siraj, who ended wicket-less but who the West Indies batters found difficult to get away in the final three overs.

     

     

     

     

  • Root: Buttler needs time to 'evolve' England after Morgan era Root: Buttler needs time to 'evolve' England after Morgan era

    Jos Buttler must be granted time and patience to help England "evolve" as a white-ball side after a disappointing start to his captaincy following Eoin Morgan's international retirement.

    That is the message from Joe Root, whose 86 at Durham on Tuesday was not enough to stop Buttler's team falling to a 62-run defeat against South Africa.

    England lost back-to-back white-ball series against India before the defeat in the first of a three-match ODI series with South Africa following Buttler the appointment of Buttler as Eoin Morgan's successor. 

    Buttler has also failed to deliver with the bat since taking the captaincy, passing 50 just once in his past seven innings - including three single-figure scores.

    Though the wicketkeeper-batter has lost five of his first seven games in charge, Root has backed Buttler as England go through a transitional period following Morgan's retirement.

    "I think for Jos and a number of the guys who've been around this setup for a couple of years, there's been a lot of change in a very short space of time," said the former Test captain.

    "And that sometimes can just take a little bit of getting used to and there's not been that time yet where you can really sit and reflect and sort of work things out.

    "So I think there has to be some sort of understanding towards that. But they are big figures that you mentioned, influential players, and that creates great opportunities for guys to step right up and really take hold of a few positions within the team and not just in terms of performance, but in filling those leadership voids as well.

    "There are some very talented players, some great cricket minds that can go on and do some special things like Eoin has done and Ben [Stokes] has done as well for the last seven to 10 years."

    The ODI retirement of Test captain Stokes, who has stepped away from 50-over internationals as he says playing in all three formats is "unst, gives Buttler another issue to contend with in his middle order.

    While Stokes embodied the attacking and front-foot approach that Morgan's team embraced en route to winning the Cricket World Cup final in 2019, Root urged England to now adapt and evolve.

    "I think as a team, you've always got to look to evolve," he added. "You always do. And I think we did that very well over a four-year period. 

    "I don't think we just said 'right this is how we're going to do it for four years and we can't move away from that.'

    "I think we grew and we evolved and developed and became good in different situations in different conditions around the world. We had to be if we were going to be consistent and take some of the best teams on in their own conditions.

    "I think that's exactly as things will have to happen moving forward as well. I know Jos has got a great cricket mind, he understands this game brilliantly.

    "He's going to be a great captain. And I don't think these results are a fair reflection of the way that he's going about his business as a leader.

    "Sometimes it does take time for things to bed in. I don't think it will take that long with him. I just think that we haven't had a lot of the format. We've had a very busy schedule."

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