Hope himself sparkled with a hundred, but it was the massive hits from Chris Gayle and Andre Russell that powered West Indies to a mammoth total.
Hope himself sparkled with a hundred, but it was the massive hits from Chris Gayle and Andre Russell that powered West Indies to a mammoth total. © Getty
It’s still a day to the World Cup, but 500 has already become the buzzword. Virat Kohli has already said England are obsessed with the number, and it isn’t surprising given the number of power-hitters the World Cup hosts and favourites vaunt. Another team renowned for big hitters – the West Indies – could also be in with a shot of becoming the first team to breach the number.
Shai Hope, West Indies’ batting mainstay, believes it is a goal that is within reach for the two-time World Cup winners. Hope spoke after the team had raced to 421 in Bristol in their second warm-up game against New Zealand on Tuesday (May 29). Hope himself sparkled with a hundred, but it was the massive hits from Chris Gayle and Andre Russell that powered West Indies to a mammoth total.
With the likes of Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis and Carlos Brathwaite in the line-up apart from the aforementioned trio of Gayle, Russell and Hope, West Indies have the fire power to dismantle attacks. “It is definitely a goal we can try to achieve at some point,” Hope said of the 500-run mark. “Definitely it would be great to be the first team to cross that 500 mark and I am sure we have the batting firepower to do it.”Hope reserved special praise for Russell, who smacked 54 off just 25 balls against New Zealand, saying the opposition often has little idea how to contain him when he’s in flow. “He (Russell) is just incredible – a freak of nature really. I don’t really know what to say about Russ, he just hits it and once he hits it, it goes for six. He is a pleasure to be on the same team as him, I can tell you that. If you are on the field you are not sure what you are going to bowl at him. It is just nice to enjoy from the inside!”
Hope has been in rich vein of form for the West Indies, who will be hoping to put behind years of disappointment on the World Cup stage with a fine performance in England. He believes it is his change in mindset that has allowed him to score runs at will.