In addition to donning the wicketkeeper’s gloves in the limited overs formats, Shai Hope is a core member of the West Indies’ batting unit. He needs, however, to contribute more consistently in order to earn the trust of Caribbean cricket authorities and the fans.
Twin centuries at Headingley during the West Indies’ 2017 visit should have marked Hope’s elevation to the ranks of the game’s elite batsmen. It didn’t, however, and the Barbadian has since failed to live up to his enormous potential.
One only needs to witness him at the crease for a brief period to notice his obvious class. He cuts and pulls with aplomb and his driving through the offside is effortless and elegant.
Yet while the talent is obvious, Hope has a far way to go and much work to do before he is seen by Caribbean fans as a man to be trusted with an important job of work. He’ll be flowing freely at one moment, only to gift his wicket away the next. And while this, to some degree, could apply to all batsmen, it occurs too often and too needlessly for a batsman of his apparent class.
Nevertheless, the 25-year-old’s quality means the West Indies should be relying on him for years to come and he will be looking to play a vital role for his team at cricket’s biggest event.