St Johns [Antigua], June 4 (ANI): West Indies captain Shai Hope suggested that he will continue to perform for West Indies at number 4 and is happy to bat whenever the team needs.
West Indies will take on the United Arab Emirates in a three-match ODI series starting on Sunday at Sharjah as a part of their build-up for the ICC World Cup Qualifiers set to commence from June 18 in Zimbabwe.
Shai Hope has been the highest ODI run-getter since the completion of the 2019 World Cup, with 1931 runs at an average of 52.18. During this time, though, he has had a strike rate of only 74.90, the lowest among batters from Full Member nations with at least 1000 runs.
However, as the 2023 ODI World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe approaches, Hope has taken on a new role as an enforcer at No.4. Hope has only batted at No.4 11 times in his ODI career, and just twice this year, but in March he scored an unbeaten 128 off 115 balls.
"It's a ticklish one, but I'm happy to bat wherever the team needs [me to]. Going forward, I think No.4 would give us a bit more stability. In the past, we've had some tough times in the middle overs, especially against spin. But in this series, you may see a bit of a change; the batting line-up may be a bit different to what we're accustomed to. Yeah, I think No.4 is the position that I'll stay at for a period of time and hopefully that continues to work for West Indies," ESPNcricinfo quoted Hope as saying.
Hope credited his boundary-laden innings in East London to improved situational awareness as well as his power game. Hope encourages the rest of the West Indies batting lineup to play with similar freedom rather than focusing solely on wicket protection.
"I think the way how cricket is being played now, you got to pretty much keep up with the times and find ways to adapt and improve our game.I'm trying to be a bit more aggressive in strokeplay and it's something I want to stem down to the team as well and want to focus on trying to find ways to score. I think in the past, we just tried to occupy the crease too much rather than executing our strengths because we're known for scoring and especially scoring boundaries," Hope said.
Squads:United Arab Emirates Squad: Muhammad Waseem(c), Ansh Tandon, Asif Khan, Basil Hameed, Ethan DSouza, Jonathan Figy, Rameez Shahzad, Aayan Afzal Khan, Fahad Nawaz, Rohan Mustafa, Vriitya Aravind(w), Aryansh Sharma, Matiullah Khan, Muhammad Jawadullah, Mohammed Faraazuddin, Lovepreet Singh, Adhitya Shetty, Ali Naseer, Junaid Siddique, Sanchit Sharma, Karthik Meiyappan and Zahoor Khan.
West Indies Squad: Shai Hope(w/c), Brandon King, Alick Athanaze, Shamarh Brooks, Kavem Hodge, Johnson Charles, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Keemo Paul, Raymon Reifer, Yannic Cariah, Dominic Drakes, Akeem Jordan, Kevin Sinclair and Odean Smith. (ANI)