I’ve previously written about the value of persisting with players, particularly batsmen, specifically Shai Hope. Now it’s the turn of his brother Kyle. The elder Hope sibling totalled 41 runs during the Test tour of England, his average a paltry 6.83. A Test series in Zimbabwe provides an excellent opportunity for Hope to enhance his average and book himself a few more international caps. In the first innings of the first Test in Bulawayo he’d made it to 16 before becoming Solomon Mire’s maiden Test victim. With his average raised to 8.14, Hope arrived at the crease in West Indies’ second innings for potentially the last time. Two balls later he was dropped at short leg. Had Craig Ervine held the chance then Hope’s average would have been 7.13 and likely remained that way for eternity. As it was, he went onto make a career best 43, putting him on exactly 100 career Test runs. Following his dismissal courtesy of his namesake, the returning home side’s pacer Kyle Jarvis, his average has risen to 12.50. That 43 must be frustrating both for Hope himself and the West Indies’ selectors. It was an improvement, albeit with a little fortune but he’s not the first batsman ever to benefit from a drop however just seven more runs could have earned him another few Tests and filled him with confidence and relief for the second match of the series. As it is, you can’t help but feel that he remains in the proverbial last chance saloon. Come the second Test, either a maiden half-century is needed or some extremely pretty, gritty, stoic, classic or match winning 30s and 40s are required in order to prolong his Test career.
Utterly bizarrely, and this only highlights Kyle Hope’s struggles, despite the fact that he bats at three and his brother Shai at four, over the course of eight innings they are yet to bat together in a Test match!