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Hope aiming for Test turnaround in England

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LONDON: West Indies batsman Shai Hope is aiming to achieve a “turnaround” in his Test career now he is back in England, the scene of his greatest triumph in the five-day format.

Three years ago Hope became the first batsman to score two hundreds in a first-class match at Headingley as his side recorded a stunning five-wicket win over the hosts in the second Test.

Yet those remain his only two centuries in 31 Tests, with Hope averaging a modest 27.23.

That contrasts with an impressive average of 52.20 from 78 ODIs, suggesting he is no flash in the pan, and he is eager to boost his Test figures during next month’s three-match series in England.

“You’re going to be hard on yourself, especially when you know that you can get something done and it’s not really portraying on your stats card,” said Hope in a conference call on Tuesday from Old Trafford.

The Manchester ground is the venue for the second and third Tests of a series to be held behind closed doors, which starts in Southampton on July 8.

“I just have to continue believing in myself and back my ability because I know I can get it done,” he said.

“The key is to make sure that I make use of these opportunities and do whatever I can to make the team win.”

The 26-year-old Hope, who said “red ball is my favourite part of the game,” struggled to explain the difference between his Test and one-day records.

“It’s probably more of a mental thing,” he said. “You just get out more in Test cricket, it seems. Hopefully I can turn it around in this series and move on from there.”

Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2020

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