Photo Credit: Cricket West Indies
Shai Hope wants more.
The West Indies batsman wants more runs and more wins.
He made the frank disclosure on Sunday night after the team went down by just six runs in another nailbiter to Sri Lanka at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in the central town Kandy. It was the second close finish to the three-match series, following the one-wicket heart-breaking defeat in the opening match at the Sinhalese Sports Club in the capital city, Colombo.
In the first match Hope top scored with 115. In the last he was again the leading man with 72. In between he made 51 in the second contest. That’s a total of 238 runs at the impressive average of 79.3 runs per innings. He kept wicket for all 150 overs Sri Lanka batted and also held eight catches behind the stumps. He batted most of every innings, so he was on the field more than any other player in the series. However, in his eyes there is still a burning desire to do more.
“I feel like I haven’t scored enough runs! I’m just trying to do my job for the team. My job is to bat long and score runs and it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get the wins in this series. They say there’s a learning curve for everything, so hopefully we can learn from this as quickly as possible and move on from there,” Hope said.
He was speaking to reporters at the conclusion of the final match. According to the 26-year-old there is no shortage of hope and belief in the West Indies dressing room as they prepare for the T20I Series. The T20Is will both be played at the picturesque Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday, March 4 and Friday, March 6.
“We just have to continue believing in what we know we can do and what the team can achieve. We’ve done enough to get here and we just need to tick a few more boxes to get us across that line. We’ve had a decent run of form in the past few ODI tours that we’ve had. So yes, it’s a 3-0 loss and a setback for us, but there’s a lot to look forward to. We can say we ticked some boxes in this series, but having said that, there’s a lot that we can work on. So, we’re looking forward to see what we have in store for the next series,” he said.
With the dynamic all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell in the squad West Indies will be forceful as they look to build momentum towards the ICC T20 World Cup which will be played in Australia later this year. Both are two-time world champions, having played vital roles in the teams which won the titles under captain Daren Sammy in 2012 and again in 2016.
“I’m pleased to be back in the T20 squad. I played one game against Afghanistan in India and I always want to play every format if I can. I’m just glad to be here again. They (Russell and Bravo) have been playing T20 cricket for [a long time] now and they have a heap of experience. I’m sure that the new guys in the team, like myself, can get some knowledge from them and hopefully they can continue doing what they do best and we can win this upcoming series.”