A Test regular for West Indies since 2017, batsman Shai Hope finds himself dropped from the West Indies Test squad for a tour of New Zealand.
Hope, a veteran of 34 Tests, has had a poor recent run in Test cricket. He’s averaged 19.48 since December 2017 and just 14.45 since February 2019, lowering his career Test average to 26.27.
Roger Harper, Cricket West Indies lead selector, outlined the reasons for dropping Hope. “I think we would all agree that he’s not been at his best in Test cricket for quite a while. He’s performed very well in the 50-over version, but in Test cricket he’s not been anywhere close to his best and this has gone on for a while,” he said.
‘Tremendous future in Test cricket’
“Sometimes, by continuing to select a player, you do them more harm than good. So, we’ve given him an opportunity to go away and work on his game. The head coach, Phil Simmons, with the franchise coaches in Barbados, has put a programme in place for Shai to help him get back to his best. It’s not the case that Shai has not being left to his own devices.
“I spoke to Shai. I said, we give you the opportunity to work to rebuild your game and get it back to the standard that we think that you’re capable of [attaining]. There’s a tremendous future for him in Test cricket, and we wanted him to rebuild his game to that level that can take his and West Indies’ cricket to the heights that we’d like to achieve.
“I think Shai is a very practical person, very smart. He understands that he’s not been at his best. He took it in very good spirits. I expect that he will work very hard to get to the standard and quality we know he’s capable of.”
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In the last Test series he played, against England in August, Hope averaged 17.50 in six innings, scoring 105 runs in total in the three Tests.
The New Zealand-West Indies Tests are scheduled for December 3-7 at Seddon Park in Hamilton and from December 11-15 at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. The T20 series is set to start on November 27 in Auckland, followed by games in Mount Maunganui on November 29 and 30.