West Indies right-hand batsman Shai Hope believes that their upcoming five-match ODI series against England would be a “good gauge” for them ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
The Caribbean side recently clinched a memorable Test series win against the English team and Shai is now hopeful of continuing their rich vein of form in the ODIs as well.
“It’s a lot to look forward to. It's a very exciting time, especially leading up to the World Cup so I’m sure the guys are ready and raring to go. We are just coming off a Test series win and that was fantastic for everyone involved and the fans, so it is important for us to continue in that vein and try to get the series win as well,” ICC quoted Shai, as saying.
“We can use this as a good gauge for us going into the World Cup. We are still looking at some plans, in terms of what is the best fit and combination but it’s a good challenge for us and we’ve got some work to do,” he added.
The wicket-keeper batsman also welcomed Chris Gayle back into the squad and said the latter's presence will prove to be beneficial for the team.
“It’s great, just to see him (Gayle) at nets. Good laugh, good shots as well, and he’s going to strengthen the team a lot. We know the importance that Gayle brings to the team. He has a lot of experience and we need to make sure we use that experience and strengthen the entire team,” Shai said.
Talking about their plans ahead of the ODI series, Shai revealed that they are going to use their “underdog tag” as a motivator.
“We will use it (the underdog tag) as a motivator. We knew what people were saying about us and we’ve got to do the same as we did to win the Test series – make sure that we know we’re coming here to play cricket and put up a fight. And it’s just not to put up a fight either but to win so we’ve got to make sure we do that,” he said.
“We are an international team and we have come here to play cricket. We will use it as a challenge, we know they’re gonna come at us hard but we will fight fire with fire. Hopefully, we have given the fans something to look forward to. I’m sure they’re coming for two wins back-to-back at home. We gave them a win in the Test series so hopefully we can do the same again,” he added.
England and West Indies will play five ODIs between February 20 and March 2. (ANI)