‘You have to be crazy to give up on Hope’ - Why recalling talented batsman to Test squad was simple as 1-2-3

By Sports Desk June 05, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cricket West Indies selection panel has picked a seemingly reinvigorated Shai Hope as part of a preliminary 17-man squad for the upcoming Test series against South Africa, given the batsman’s experience and ability it’s hard to see how they could have done differently.

Batting in an unfamiliar position, Hope put on a show of scintillating form and solid technique in the West Indies Best vs Best four-day practice match this week.  Overall, he scored a polished 106 in the second innings to follow 79 in the first. 

Performing well for an intra-squad match is one thing, but selecting a player with the quality of Hope demands a few other obvious considerations.  The batsman, unlike a majority of others in the squad, has proven that he has the ability to dominate world class opposition in the red ball format.

 The batsman historic performance against England, at Headingley in 2017, still stands out on his resume and getting the player back into that type of form was always the objective.

Hope’s axing from the squad last November should be seen in the light of giving him time to sort out any technical and mental issues that might have plagued him at the time.  With the batsman looking as physically and mentally fit as he did earlier this week, his recall would have been a no brainer.

Since Hope was dropped from the squad, he has clearly put in the work, and shown plenty of application with the bat whenever given the opportunity.  His scores in three innings over two warm-up matches, the first against Sri Lanka in March, are 68, 79 and 106.

Given the dearth of overall quality the selectors face in some positions, passing up a fit and firing Hope was always going to be an unlikely scenario.

 

 

 

 

 

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