Across a substantial career a batting average is an effective measure of a batsman in Test cricket. But across a handful of matches – although it remains illustrative of quality – we can be less sure of its results. Shimron Hetmyer has a Test batting average of 29.70 (and a first class average of 33.87) but to anyone who has watched him bat he is a clearly a very special talent with the potential to average significantly more by the end of his career.
Hetmyer is one of those rare and precious players whose talents are seemingly impossibly self-evident. This is accentuated by his image. Hetmyer has that classical Caribbean swagger and the ineffable aura of a man for whom operating at an elite level appears to be almost effortless. Batting with a gold cricket bat chain round his neck, hatless or—like Desmond Haynes—in a floppy sunhat, Hetmyer has suddenly become the coolest man in cricket. But with Hetmyer there is substance to match the style.
To those who have followed Caribbean cricket in the last few years Hetmyer has clearly been a player of great ability. After leading the West Indies Under-19s to the World Cup title in 2015/16, scoring consecutive fifties in the quarter-final and semi-final, Hetmyer made his international debut six months before his 21st birthday. At such a young age and with so little experience expecting him to immediately perform consistently was unrealistic but evidence of his talent was clear in a maiden Test fifty against New Zealand and a maiden ODI hundred against the United Arab Emirates in the World Cup Qualifiers…..