Harper optimistic about Hetmyer’s Test match pedigree

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By Akeem Greene

Shimron Hetmyer is seen by many as the future of West Indies batting and Chief Selector Roger Harper has endorsed the young talent, noting he has the pedigree to be among the best in the world.

The 23-year-old has returned to the West Indies Test squad after missing the earlier tour to England in July due to safety concerns over COVID-19.

Speaking at a Virtual press briefing on Friday, Harper indicated that once Hetmyer can understand how to maximise his potential, he will rank among the best in the longest format.

“I would like to think, having missed a tour, he is hungry to get back and show what a quality player he is in all formats of the game and especially in Test cricket,” Harper said.

“I personally think Hetmyer has the ability to be one of the best batsmen in the world, and in Test cricket as well. As he gets to understand the rhythm of Test cricket and the approach needed, he will show that. This is an opportunity for him to showcase his skill and talent and help the team to build big totals.”

His return to the playing XI though might not be immediate since Jermaine Blackwood, who took the number six position in Hetmyer’s absence during the England series, was the team’s highest runscorer during the three Tests.

Harper explained that Hetmyer offers the team greater depth in quality batting options.

“Shimron Hetmyer is a very talented player; he gives us a lot more depth in quality and ability in that middle-order, so we are hoping he will look to seize this opportunity to showcase just how good a player he is.”

The young batsman has shown his destructive nature in the limited-overs format for West Indies, already scoring five One-Day International centuries, however, in the Test format, he is still to reach a triple-figure score after making five half-centuries.

His average after 16 Tests is 27.93, and notably, after 39 First-Class matches, he has one century to show.

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