The Drop Shop

IMG_3140

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!

Wind in Their Sails!

img_2721

West Indies are currently taking on Zimbabwe in the first Test in Bulawayo and it’s great to see the tourists displaying faith in the team that narrowly lost 2-1 in England.

Following a difficult tour of the UK, the likes of Kieron Powell and Kyle Hope as well as gloveman Shane Dowrich have been presented with further opportunity to showcase their international credentials and with Zimbabwe benefiting from the return of some experienced players, it should be a competitive series.

Brendan Taylor and Kyle Jarvis are back in the international fold for the hosts and that should bode well for Graeme Cremer’s team. There is part of me that feels these guys had turned their back on the global game and shouldn’t just waltz back into their national side however it can be seen as an investment. They should be better players for having played regular professional cricket in England for a few years and if that contributes to Zimbabwe’s matches against any side being close encounters then that is good for the game. They’d displayed strong strides against a regressive Sri Lanka outfit and the addition of Taylor and Jarvis as well as a reimagining of Zimbabwean domestic cricket provides an optimistic horizon for ‘The Chevrons’.

Keep up to date with how things play out between the two sides @ http://www.cricinfo.com

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18076/game/1122886/Zimbabwe-vs-West-Indies-1st-Test-wi-in-zim-2017-18-2017-18