Shai Hope backs West Indies to be first to reach 500-run total

Bristol, PTI | Updated : 29 May 2019, 07:57 PM
West Indies will play its first game against Pakistan (Image Credit: Twitter)
West Indies will play its first game against Pakistan (Image Credit: Twitter)
HIGHLIGHTS
    • The World Cup is set to begin on May 30. 
    • West Indies will play its first game against Pakistan. 
    • Shai Hope will be West Indies key player in World Cup. 

Shai Hope believes the West Indies are one of the frontrunners to breach 500-run total in one-day internationals, once unthinkable but now a real possibility. Scores in excess of 350 are becoming a norm these days, and sporadically, teams are also having a go at 400 plus totals in the 50-over format.

World Cup hosts England, current record holders having blasted 481 against Australia at Trent Bridge last year, are also chasing the milestone - but Hope believes his teammates have what it takes to trouble the history books.

"It is definitely a goal we can try to achieve at some point. Definitely, it would be great to be the first team to cross that 500-run mark and I am sure we have the batting firepower to do it," Hope said after his team's warm-up game against New Zealand.

With a century under his belt in the final warm-up game against New Zealand, the in-form Hope spearheaded West Indies' mammoth total of 421 here ? their highest-ever score in the limited-overs format.

With T20 star Andre Russell, who smashed 54 off just 25 balls at the County Ground, and the likes of Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer also in their ranks, Jason Holder's side is perfectly poised to go even bigger in the coming years.

Hope, who has three tons and two half-centuries under his belt since March, finds himself in fine fettle heading into the showpiece.

"I would say my mindset has changed slightly," he added.

"I haven't really changed too much in terms of my preparation, how I go about things. But, as I said it is about adapting to the style of play, the style of cricket in these times and finding ways to score runs, finding ways to be as consistent as I can be."

Ranked eighth in the world heading into their tournament opener against Pakistan on Friday, West Indies start as outsiders to lift the World Cup.

But in Russell, Holder's men have one of limited-overs cricket's true match-winners ? something that is not lost on his teammate.

"He (Russell) is just incredible - a freak of nature really," Hope said.

"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!"

First Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2019 07:56 PM
For all the latest Sports News Download the News Nation App available on Android and iOS.