Harper: Course being chartered for Hope’s revival
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CMC):
Out-of-form West Indies batsman Shai Hope will be placed in a remedial programme in an attempt to ensure he rediscovers his powers in the longest format.
The 26-year-old was on Friday axed from the Test side to tour New Zealand next month but convenor of selectors, Roger Harper, said Windies head coach Phil Simmons was consulting with the Barbados Pride coaches to establish a way forward for the elegant strokemaker.
“The plan is that the head coach Phil Simmons is working along with the franchise coaches in Barbados and have put a programme in place to work with Shai to get him back to his best, so I think that’s the sort of process that we’ll put in place,” Harper said.
“So it’s not a case that Shai has been left to his own devices. There’s a process in place and all things considered in these COVID times, there are coaches working with him.”
Hope made his debut five years ago but apart from hundreds in both innings of the Leeds second Test on the 2017 tour of England, has failed to live up to expectations with an average of 26 from 34 matches.
In fact, the right-hander has averaged only 19 from 17 Tests inside the last two-and-a-half years, in direct contrast to his One-Day International form that has seen him average 61 with eight hundreds during the same period.
Hoping to revive his Test career on last July’s England tour, he again struggled with an average of 17 as part of an overall poor showing by West Indies.
Harper said Hope took the news of his dropping in “very good spirits” and was fully aware he still had a future in the longest format.
“It’s my responsibility to inform all players of their selection and non-selection and I spoke to Shai and I said ‘… we are giving you the opportunity to work to rebuild your game and get back to the standard that we think you’re capable of and we’ve seen in the past’,” Harper explained.
“Shai is a very practical person and is very smart, and he understands that he has not been at his best, and he took it in very good spirits.
West Indies will be searching for their first series win on New Zealand soil in a quarter of a century when they face the Black Caps in two Tests in December.