West Indies have dropped Shai Hope from the Test squad for their upcoming two-match series against New Zealand. Hope, who has played 34 Tests for the Windies so far, is largely regarded as one of the best talents to come from the island nation in the past few years.
However, Hope had a torrid time with the bat in West Indies' last tour to England in July 2020, which marked the return of cricket action amid the coronavirus pandemic. Hope scored only 105 runs in three Tests in the series.
Talking about the decision to drop Hope, Cricket West Indies' chief selector Roger Harper said that he was not "at his best" in the longest format of the game for a while.
"I think we would all agree that he's not been at his best in Test cricket for quite a while," Harper said.
"He's performed very well in the 50-over version, but in Test cricket he's not been anywhere close to his best and this has gone on for a while.
"Sometimes, by continuing to select a player, you do them more harm than good. So, we've given him an opportunity to go away and work on his game. The head coach, Phil Simmons, has put a programme in place to help him get back to his best. He's not being left to his own devices.
"He has an important part to play in the future of West Indies cricket. There's a tremendous future for him in Test cricket, but he needs to get his batting back to where we know it can be. That's what this is about: giving him that opportunity to find his mojo again in Test cricket and come back a stronger and better player."
Shimron Hetmyer and Darren Bravo, however, have made a return to the Test squad.
Here are the full West Indies squads for the Test and T20I series:
Test squad: Jason Holder (capt), Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach
Test Reserves: Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua DaSilva, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Jayden Seales
T20I squad: Kieron Pollard (capt), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams