BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, CMC – In-form batsman Shai Hope is expecting not much difference from the spin-friendly Queens Sports Club track when the second Test bowls off here tomorrow.
The wicket proved a challenge from the opening day providing generous turn from the opening session, and Hope said he was already bracing for similar conditions, as West Indies goes in search of a series sweep.
“I do think it’s going to respond the same way as the first game. The pitch is even drier than the first game but it’s about trusting your process again,” the elegant right-hander said.
“You have your individual game plans and as a team we have to make sure we are precise with those game plans and make sure we can combat anything they bring to us.”
West Indies buckled cheaply for 219 in their first innings as leg-spinner Graeme Cremer and left-arm spinner Sean Williams accounted for the majority of wickets.
But after securing a 60-run lead, West Indies compiled 373 in their second innings to take command of the game and force a 117-run victory late on the fourth day last Tuesday.
“I must commend our guys for the display of batting we showed, especially Roston (Chase),” Hope said of his counterpart who scored 95 in the second innings.
“He came out and scored freely as if it wasn’t turning so credit must go to him and the batting team in general. We played well, we responded to their spin attack and we just need to do the same in the second Test.”
Hope was also among the runs, stroking a superb unbeaten 90 in the first innings and following up with 44 in the second.
His performances saw him make yet another leap in the ICC batting rankings where he now lies 24th, as the second highest-ranked Windies player behind opener Kraigg Brathwaite at 18th.
“I just want to keep growing. As a batter, you got to this level playing decent cricket and now you have to trust your ability, trust your game,” the 23-year-old pointed out.
“You know you have the strength to get over the line to play decent quality bowlers. You have to trust your process. You work hard in the nets to go out there and do a job and you make sure you do that when you go out there.”
He added: “It’s just doing whatever you can for the team. In this format, my aim is to bat as long as possible and get big totals for the team so those things (rankings) come secondary. You see them but you don’t really go out there with those things in mind.”