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West Indies cricketer Shai Hope, who scored twin centuries during the 2017 Headingley Test victory against the hosts England, believes that he can repeat that performance in the forthcoming Test series in England.
After losing the opening game of that three-match Test series against the hosts, which was also the first day/night Test match in England, the visitors West Indies stunned the cricket world by beating the hosts in the second game of that series at Headingley (Leeds).
The hero of that match Shai Hope scored 147 and 118 not out in that Test match. While his first innings batting helped the Caribbean side to score 427 runs, his second innings century helped his side to chase down the fourth-innings target of 322 runs (322/5).
The 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Hope hasn’t scored a Test century since that 2017 Headingley Test match. However, he believes that he can showcase that golden form again in this England tour.
Hope told media via a video conference, “I just need to have the continued belief in myself, back my ability because I know I can get it done, it’s not like I haven’t done it before.”
Along with the most wicket-taker in that series, who was the English pacer James Anderson (19 wickets), Shai Hope also won the Player of the Series award after finishing as the leading run-scorer in that Test series (375 runs). However, the hosts England won that Test series by the 2-1 margin.
While international cricket is returning with the Southampton Test between England and West Indies from 8th July, Hope is confident on himself to perform better in this tour.
Hope added, “It’s a case of making sure I make the most of these opportunities and do whatever I can to make the team win. Obviously, you’re going to be hard on yourself, especially when you know you can get something done but it’s not really portraying on the stats.”
Red-ball batting is definitely my favourite part of the game: Shai Hope
In the recent limited-overs cricket, Hope is now a very special performer for his country as the right-handed batsman is very consistent in the ODI format. Talking about his much different stats in Test batting, Hope claimed that the red-ball game is one of his favourite part of the game, but he also admitted that his Test stats need to improve.
He said, “Red-ball batting is definitely my favourite part of the game but the runs and the stats aren’t exactly where we want them to be, but I’m working towards that.”
However, Hope hasn’t pointed out any weakness of his batting at the present time. While he doesn’t feel to make any major changes in his batting technique at the present time, he believes that the mental change is going to be more important.
Hope added, “I can’t pinpoint anything (wrong) at this stage, because I wouldn’t say my preparation has changed. I don’t think it’s anything major when it comes to my technical side of the game. There are certain things you can tweak, as you go along. I would probably say it’s more of a mental thing. Hopefully, I can turn it around and move on from there.”
After the Southampton Test, England and West Indies will play the last two games of this Test series at Manchester which will begin on 16th July and 24th July respectively.