Clock ticking on Hope’s Test failures

Fri, Jul 17, '20

 

Media Watch

When Shai Hope plays against England, one word comes up more than any other: Headingley. By and large, Hope’s Test career is discussed in terms of one match, in which his twin hundreds led West Indies to a memorable win in 2017. But rather than a springboard, that performance has come to feel like a high-water mark: more than one-sixth of his career runs came in that match, and since then his average has been a meagre 24.77.

In his last 34 innings, Hope has made two half-centuries. In most Test teams, that would be low enough for him to be dropped, but West Indies have rarely had much in the way of competition for places in the top or middle order: across the last three domestic first-class seasons, the only players with over 1000 runs batting in the top four with an average above 40 are the recently-recalled Jermaine Blackwood and 38-year-old Devon Smith.

But heading into the second Test against England, things are different. Most of the batsmen performed admirably at Southampton, in the knowledge that Shimron Hetmyer and Darren Bravo – both of whom opted out of this bio-secure tour – will be after their places in West Indies’ next series.

Jason Holder has hinted that the ‘engine room’ of him and Shane Dowrich may move up a spot each from No. 7 and 8 at some point in the near future, while Joshua Da Silva did his best to bang the door down with a strong showing in the warm-up matches. So after years of security, the man with the question mark looming over his spot is now Hope.

Read more at Barbados Today 

 

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