Sports: Hope: IPL auction is secondary to India series

WEST Indies opener Shai Hope says the team’s primary focus is to defeat India in the One Day International series and they are not paying too much attention to the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) draft.

West Indies will aim to clinch the three-match ODI series on Wednesday at 4 am (TT time) after cruising to an eight-wicket win over India in the first ODI, on Sunday. West Indies are seeking their second consecutive series win following a 3-0 sweep against Afghanistan in India.

Almost 20 West Indies players will be hoping to hear their name on Thursday when the IPL auction is held. A number of West Indies players have been retained by their franchises including Sunil Narine, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Keemo Paul, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard. Sherfane Rutherford was traded from the Delhi Capitals to the Mumbai Indians earlier this year.

In the first ODI, Hope made 102 not out and shared a stand of 218 with Shimron Hetmyer who made 139 – his highest score at international level.

Asked if the IPL auction is an extra motivation to perform well during the current ODI series against India, Hope said, “I am sure it would (be motivation), but that is secondary. We came here to play a series against India and to win the series against India…I am sure some of the guys will be looking forward to that option, but we have the India series to play and that is main thing right now,” he said.

The 26-year-old Hope is the third leading batsman in the world this year with 1,225 runs including four centuries and seven half centuries. In the 26 matches this year he has averaged 61.25. Overall in his career he has made 2,887 runs in 65 innings at an average of 52.5 and also has 74 dismissals – 65 catches and nine stumpings.

Hope said he tries to adjust to each surface he plays on and just bats according to the team’s goals.

“It is about trusting the process. My preparation remains the same, it is just about being able to adapt to each surface, each continent you play on. It is about passion and drive and finding that motivation to go out there and doing what is required of the team.”

The Barbadian’s fitness level was tested during the first ODI after spending the entire match on the field as he kept wicket for the West Indies and batted through the entire innings.

“It is a tough job, it takes a lot on the body. I just need to remind myself that I am doing this for the entire Caribbean, everyone is supporting us so it is just about finding that motivation and do whatever I can do to get the team over the line. If I have to keep 100 overs and then go and bat at the top of the order I am going to do that.”


Hope: IPL auction is secondary to India series

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