Barbados and West Indies opening batsman Shai Hope, 21 years, should do well in Sri Lanka conditions. The Sri Lankan bowlers are not as quick as the Australians, Mitchell Johnson and Michael Starc, so the process for Hope should be much easier if he negotiates the movement of those wickets well.
Hope has played 14 first class matches and his most successful was the 2014-2015 Regional Four-Day Competition, when he scored 628 runs from nine matches. This included a double century against the Windward Islands. He made his debut against Australia at Test level in 2015.
DENESH RAMDIN SHOULD BAT AT NUMBER FOUR
West Indies former Test Captain, Denesh Ramdin has played 69 Test matches, scoring four Test tons and 13 half centuries, averaging 26:28. Ramdin has approximately 10 years of international experience. He made his debut against India in July 2005 and in spite of his statistics his is not that impressive. Ramdin can certainly build on his average with the captaincy off his back. Ramdin at four, pushes Marlon Samuels to number five and Jermaine Blackwood at six. Stability must be the objective of the West Indies batsmen.
ANCHOR AND SETTLE, THE RUNS WILL COME
Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin batting at the top of the order must be good for the West Indies, because they are experienced players. Darren Bravo, 26 years, has played 37 Tests, scored six centuries and 11 half centuries averaging 41:22.
West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons must impress on all the players the need to focus on their game and compete skillfully. West Indies squad to Sri Lanka: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite (vice captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Rajindra Chandrika, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor and Jomel Warrican.
Note: The Sri Lanka /West Indies series starts Wednesday, Oct. 14.
WICB MUST FOCUS ON STRENGTHENING TEST TEAM
West Indies Cricket Board and West Indies Senior Coach Phil Simmons must create a well comprehensive plan to rebuild the West Indies Senior test team. Chief of selectors Clive Lloyd has bravely selected a group of young players giving them the opportunity to blossom in their careers. For the West Indies to re-gain respect as a cricket team, they must excel at test level. In spite of the popularity of Twenty20 and One-Day International, Test cricket still holds its supreme status.
Simmons must give the guidance to the younger players on how to be successful at bowling and batting. The steps to a successful cricketing career is what is essential to be taught to these youths. Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Sir Vivian Richards, Gordon Greenidge and Alvin Kallicharan were successful at their game because of the discipline they exhibited in learning the challenges that goes with the game.
Kraigg Brathwaite and Hope must pick up from Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge, their fellow Barbadians. West Indies needs an opening pair that would create that stability at the front and give West Indies a great start. This tour of Sri Lanka will be a full test for Head Coach Simmons and also the players. West Indies should do well on this tour of Sri Lanka and batting will be key to the team’s success.