West Indies on the rise, says Hetmyer
(Reporting and Photography by Akeem Greene in Barbados, compliments of News Room and E-Networks)
It is no secret that West Indies cricket has endured overwhelming turmoil, both on and off the field.
But on the field, where it matters most, this Jason Holder led unit is still to deliver a One-Day International series victory, but the Test win over powerhouses England and the positive signs in the first two ODIs showed maybe, just maybe they actually would make the turnaround in performances.
One of the players who has a monumental role to play in the quest for better, is batsman Shimron Hetmyer. Even though only aged 22, the blockbuster package already has four centuries from just 22 ODIs and has played some brazen innings, one of which was an 83-ball 104 which laid the platform for the hosts’ series-levelling victory on Friday.
The series is still three matches out, and though nailed with injuries of critical players, Windies have stood tall with the world number one ranked England, signs that ‘Fire in Babylon’ can burn again.
“We [West Indies] are on a rise, but we have to take it a game at a time and put our best foot forward every game and back up our bowlers with runs on the board and good fielding,” Hetmyer related.
Good fielding certainly. The Caribbean side could have headed to Grenada with a comfortable 2-0 lead had they held on to catches in the first match, where after posting a record 360, butter fingers meant England achieved the target in cruise control.
Though there are still the statistical horror, which has them ranked at ninth, the guts showcased thus far means they are more than capable of producing a strong showing in the round-robin World Cup in May.
“Who knows; anything is possible [at the World Cup] I guess; it is about keeping ourselves going and working hard every day…there always was confidence, it is just about us believing more in our abilities and going out and execute.”
His form this year is massive given the stakes and if he betters the 2018 stats where he was the senior team’s second highest run-scorer in ODIs with 727 runs, inclusive of three tons at an average of 40.38 from 17 matches, the guys in maroon would be in good stead.
He reflected that his score of 81 in the first Test at Kensington should have been a triple figure, but finally getting a ton this series means ‘big deal’ for him and the ones close to him.
“I wanted to get it [the century] in the Test series in front of this wonderful Barbadian crowd, but getting it today[Friday] in front of the crowd and my girlfriend is a wonderful feeling…It was dedicated to my girlfriend because she is leaving tomorrow [Saturday], so I am trying to give her a good gift on her way home.”