Shai Hope

Hope could be 'one of our best ODI players ever' – Jason Holder

West Indies news

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West Indies captain Jason Holder heaped praise on wicket-keeper batsman Shai Hope, saying that the 25-year-old opener has the potential to be among the country’s best one-day international players ever.

Hope has been in imperious form in the ongoing tri-series in Ireland, where he has reeled off back-to-back centuries. In the series opener against the hosts Ireland, Hope struck a career-best 170 and partnered John Campbell for a 365-run opening stand – the highest for the first wicket in ODI history. West Indies racked up 381/3 and won by 196 runs.

In the next game, against Bangladesh, Hope’s 109 was integral in lifting West Indies to 261/9, as the rest of the line-up wobbled slightly. During the course of that innings, Hope also crossed 2000 ODI runs, becoming the fastest West Indian to the mark. Hope got there in 47 innings, beating the great Viv Richards by one innings.

“Shai has been our most consistent player over the last two years,” Holder said. “He’s the quickest West Indian to 2000 runs, which is a really phenomenal feat. I saw the list of guys on the TV and it’s really good to have him in that company, and if he continues in that vein, he could be arguably one of our best ODI players to ever play.

“Performances like that is something we’re definitely looking for. John [Campbell] got a hundred in the first game, [but] unfortunately, wasn’t fit enough to play the second. But hopefully, we can get him back on the park and firing on all cylinders once more.”

West Indies have, by far, the best net run rate of the three teams, and a win over Ireland on Saturday, 11 May, will put them back at the top of the table as well as take them a step closer to the tri-series final.

After picking up a dominant win in the series opener against Ireland, West Indies couldn’t quite keep it up in the second game against Bangladesh. However, Holder was overall pleased with where things stood ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

“I’m happy with how things have gone so far,” he said. “I think the guys have been working really hard, they’ve been very disciplined. We probably weren’t at our best in the last game, but we’ve had tons of discussions over the last couple of days as to how we can get better and how we can improve, which is what you want in a young group like this one. I’m very positive that we can bounce back against Ireland, and when we play Bangladesh the second time around, we’ll put up a much better performance.”

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