It doesn’t really mean much, if you don’t win: Hope
|| CF Correspondent ||
Shai Hope has been the linchpin of West Indies’ struggling batting unit for sometimes now. After shooting to the fame with an inning of 147 and 118 not out, which twice punctured English expectations and helped deliver one of the great sporting turnarounds following West Indies’ humiliation in Birmingham last year, Hope gave Caribbean people a hope of reviving their Test fortune. That actually wasn’t materialized, but Hope remains, by a distance, the most prolific batsman in this West Indies side.
Coming off two straight centuries in ODI series and a hitting a third fastest T20 half-century against Bangladesh, Hope talks to Cricfrenzy about his dwell with Shakib Al Hasan, his practice method, his World Cup ambition and so on. Here is the excerpt of the interview:
Cricfrenzy (CF): You didn’t have a good time in the Tests. Then you came back strongly in the ODIs. What changes did you make in your batting?
Shai Hope (SH): Honestly, I don’t think I made any drastic changes in my game. I guess it is more about the belief, formula, and aggressive intent, in the white-ball format. Otherwise, I don’t think there’s much of a change from the Tests, in ODIs or T20Is. Sometimes you don’t get the score that you want. And it is pleasing to get those scores in this format.
CF: You got out against Shakib Al Hasan a lot of times. Is there any mental factor?
SH: He is a decent bowler. He has always done well in the international circuit. So, he must be respected as a bowler. Just one of those times when he got the better of me.
CF: You couldn’t score big runs back when Bangladesh toured the West Indies in July. Did you have any motivation to prove yourself here?
SH: As a batsman you want to score as many runs as possible for your team. It doesn’t have to be a particular series or tour. Every single time you step on the crease, you aim to score big runs for the team.
CF: Nic (Pothas) told about your practice-with-purpose…
SH: I practice for what I’m expecting in the game or whichever conditions I’m likely to play in. The more of that I do in the nets, the more confidence it gives me to go into the game, to execute what I need to do in the game. It changes depending on which conditions you are in, which surface you’re on. We expect the ball to spin a lot more here in Bangladesh. So, practicing against both off and leg spin is one of the key factors that I pointed out as a batsman.
CF: You played as an opener in this tour. Do you think that’s your place to bat?
SH: Wherever my team requires me to bat, I’ll just try my best and do whatever job I can for the team.
CF: Looking at your strike rates in ODIs and T20Is, what mental changes do you make in your game across formats?
SH: Everything about the T20 format is much faster. It’s about adapting to the style of play. I wouldn’t say that my game changes too much. It’s about being able to adapt to the situation, adapt to the bowlers, adapt to what the team requires.
CF: The way you played in the last game, do you think that’s what West Indies cricket is all about?
SH: That’s our style honestly. We’re known for being the strikers of the ball and playing aggressive cricket. So, it’s good sign to see the guys getting 90 in powerplay. It’s a good platform that we can build on in the future… even in the ODI format, not just T20Is.
CF: What’s your goal before the World Cup? You must be having a lot of confidence going into the World Cup…
SH: Yeah, obviously. I’m batter and I’m getting runs… I’m going to be pleased about that. But I won’t succeed in any personal goal unless we win the World Cup or get through the qualifying stage into the semis and then to the final. It doesn’t really mean much, if you don’t win.
CF: Do you think you have the firepower to win the World Cup?
SH: Regardless of who we face on a particular day in every game, I always believe we can win.
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