Shai Hope has two Test hundreds, and both came in the tour of England in 2017 in Leeds for a winning cause. The right-hander has grown as a prolific one-day batsman since but his red-ball performances have been considerably dry.
The Hope of 2020 is low in confidence with scores of 16, 9, 25 and 7 in the two Tests against England in Southampton and Manchester respectively. Ahead of the third Test in Manchester starting on Friday, West Indies captain Jason Holder backed Hope to come out and fire. He, however, is yet to take a call on team selection.
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“We still have a very good opportunity to win the series and everybody is upbeat for the occasion. The Test matches have been tough. We have got enough motivation to keep pushing. I just walked across the ground so I haven’t really seen the pitch yet, I have to see the pitch to make a decision for selection. We have to wait till tomorrow.
“Some of them haven’t been getting runs that they would like but we have to give them full support. We know what Shai can produce at this level. He is one of the best one-day batsman in the world. I have full confidence in Shai to get some runs. He is special and he has my full support,” Holder told reporters on Thursday.
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The short turnaround time between the Tests is challenging for the workload of the players, especially the bowlers but Holder is not too worried. “We have been doing this for a number of years. It is a short turnaround time but these guys have been in good form. We just have to push it to the next level. We have done reasonably well as a Test side in the last two to three years. I have full confidence in this team. We have to stick together, continue to learn and play in different conditions around the world,” he said.
Holder expects the team to bat and field better. “We could do much better on the field. We want our batters to do well, they are yet to get a hundred. The batters should step up and get a hundred,” he added.
Looking at Roston Chase’s off-break exploits in the second Test, there could be an opening for big man Rahkeem Cornwall. “He is a wicket-taker and a match-winner [if he comes in]. He has 13 wickets in two Tests that he has played. He is a quality off-spinner and he also provides a slip catching and batting option for us. He brings a lot of control,” said Holder.
The third Test between England and West Indies will be aired LIVE on Sony Six channels from 24th July 2020, 3.30 pm onwards
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