Legendary Windies all-rounder, Sir Garfield Sobers, better known as Gary Sobers; revealed he was left impressed with Shai Hope in their first meeting. The veteran of the game, who had scored 8032 runs and taken 235 wickets in 93 Tests, said his first impression of the Hope was, ‘Pfft, this is class! This is class’. Meanwhile, as he was spending a few weeks coaching the Windies team in the past, Gary came across Shai.
Sir Garry Sobers’ advice to Hope!
Long before Shai Hope made headlines for his twin tons in Leeds Test in 2017, Sobers had given some advice to the right-hander. Watching Shai bat closely from the nets, Sobers said he could have added ‘another string to his bow’.
“I saw him when the president (of Cricket West Indies) asked me to come down and do some coaching with the team for four or five weeks,” Sobers told Sky Sports. “The first time I saw him, I said, ‘Pfft, this is class! This is class’.”
Furthermore, Sir Garry Sobers added there was this one shot he was playing quite well; hitting the spinners through the mid-off area. The veteran then opined that he didn’t change anything about it because a batsman’s favourite shot gives him confidence. Gary later revealed after watching Shai play for two or three weeks, it is his shot and he should keep it intact.
“He had one shot that I didn’t want to take away from him because he played it all the time,” said Sobers. “[He] was hitting the off-spinners, trying to hit them through mid-off and that kind of thing.”
“Never take away what a player has. Try to help him with the others or try to help him to play that shot better. After about two or three weeks watching him, I just said to him, ‘Shai, that’s your shot, don’t lose it, don’t let anybody take that away from you but I can just give you another string to your bow.”
Hope to regain Windies’ era?
Shai Hope has been a Silverline in Windies transition phase, of late. Though he is getting there on the page with some of the consistent batsmen of his era; Shai has managed to carve his niche across formats. In 2018, Hope had a decent tour to India; scoring a hundred and a fifty in the ODI series. Though his exploits in Tests and the T20Is weren’t upto the mark, his century did help the Windies level the series. He was also the second-highest run-scorer for the Windies in India ODIs.
Later, on tour to Bangladesh, Shai Hope smashed the third-fastest fifty by a batsman; collecting fifty-plus total in 16 deliveries.
Meanwhile, the right-handed batsman will play a key role for the Windies during England Tests, which begins on January 23rd in Barbados.