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Brathwaite vows to play Hope as long as he’s alive

  • Published at 01:49 pm December 16th, 2018
The West Indies' Carlos Brathwaite bowls during training in Sylhet Sunday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Shai Hope scored 297 runs in the three-ODI series against the Tigers, the most by any batsman in a bilateral ODI series in Bangladesh

West Indies T20I captain Carlos Brathwaite is looking to end the 2018 year on a high after having a disappointing tour of Bangladesh where they lost the Test series 2-0 and the ODI series 2-1. 

Shai Hope has been the visitor’s one glimmer of hope as far as batting is concerned, and has been in shining form during the ODI series and Brathwaite has vowed to play him even if he has to carry Hope on a stretcher.

Hope scored 297 runs in the three-ODI series against the Tigers, the most by any batsman in a bilateral ODI series in Bangladesh.

“Shai is in beautiful batting form, fresh off two back-to-back unbeaten centuries. Even if Shai has to play with a stretcher, I will volunteer to carry the stretcher between the wickets. He is fine and in good spirits. He is out practicing, so hopefully he is close to 100%. As long as he is alive, he will play [Monday],” said Brathwaite at the pre-match press conference in Sylhet Sunday.

Now, with the T20I series starting Monday, the hero of the 2016 World T20I final would like to end the year with a series win.  

“The people back home deserve a Christmas gift. We hope to close out the year with a win. We still think T20I is our premier format. We obviously haven’t had the results to be in the recent past proud of. But here’s a chance to turn things around and ending 2018 in a good way,” he explained.

Big-hitting opener Evin Lewis comes back into the squad and will give the visitor a big boost in the shortest format, a format where they are the most dangerous with their impact players.

“We think it is a plus for us. He is one of the better batsmen in the world. For the last 18 months or so, he has three T20I hundreds, and also centuries in regional and franchise cricket all over the world. He is a definite plus for any team. It is a positive to have in our side. Hopefully he will deliver some big performances which will help us win the game and the series,” said Brathwaite.

The big-hitting all-rounder also spoke about the unique cricketing spirit and fighting passion the Caribbean side brings to world cricket, which has made them a fan favourite over the years. 

“I think if you look back at the India series, yes we lost 3-0, but I think in the first and third games, we showed what West Indies cricket can bring to world cricket. The passion, belief and desire, firstly when defending a very small total and then taking the final game down to the final ball,” believes Brathwaite.

The 30-year old is expecting regular Bangladeshi wickets - spinning tracks - for the T20Is, as has been the case during the Tests and ODIs. 

Though he feels if there is no dew, then it will help the host more.

“A Bangladeshi wicket. We have struggled against spin throughout this tour. They want to win the series as much as we do so we don’t expect there to be anything different from the Tests and ODIs. The lack of dew factor will play in Bangladesh’s hands a bit more. Our pacers will not have the extra skid on the wicket. But it is not something in our control. We will turn up, play the best brand of cricket, and try to find ways to win,” Brathwaite concluded.

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