HomeIPL BettingThe forthcoming IPL 2024, lots of Hopes and a...

The forthcoming IPL 2024, lots of Hopes and a case for Shai

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While the world was absolutely head buried in the 2024 IPL auction given it was, needless to say, such a big event, the precursor to the forthcoming cricketing saga held a little more importance to a certain Shai Hope than it did to anyone else. 

For a batsman considered pretty much the definition of his surname to the fortunes of the West Indies, the significance of the 2024-bound IPL is akin to that of an electric vehicle traversing the unsparingly polluted environs of mega cities. 

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To say that 2023 has been yet another year where Hope has been on the charge and diligently so would be putting it mildly. This was the year where Hope spent more time in the middle than he did in recent years in improving his long range hitting. 

A lack of six-hitting, exacerbated by a not so uppity strike rate, his critics regarded, had been the only unsavoury aspect about Shai Hope’s game. 

The rest, the savoury bits, were about, one presumes, a degree of technical virtuosity and method to madness that firmly define Shai Hope’s craftsmanship with the bat. But for a batsman who’s got all the shots in the book, Hope spent a large part of this soon-to-end year sending the ball several rows back into the stands. 

And one suspects, that may have added to Shai Hope’s eventual sale to the Delhi Capitals, among the only three IPL franchises from the ones that have been there from the start to have never lifted a crown; the others being RCB and Kings Eleven. 

Wild take? Random even?  

Take, for instance, Shai Hope’s 128 against South Africa in South Africa earlier this year; a breezy and gritty century featured no fewer than seven sixes. 

Hope came under pressure and held the fort until the wee end of the Windies innings to notch up a rip roaring ton in his maiden assignment as Windies captain. 

A little later post that sweltering knock played during March this year came a daunting century against Nepal, yet another knock that carried the whiff of changing winds that may certainly have added a sense of robustness to Hope’s resume in the shortest format. 

In what was a huge 101-run win against Nepal in the World Cup qualifiers, Shai Hope belted the highest score of the game courtesy his 132 that came off just 129; but the implicit feature of yet another fighting century was the right hander bludgeoning 3 sixes in addition to 10 boundaries. 

Those who picked Hope for the utility that the Barbadian brings as a batsman that can keep may certainly have noted his impact as both batsman as well as captain. 

The only low scoring events where ODI’s in 2023 stand being Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe (World Cup qualifiers), Hope was pretty much on the job otherwise and in a fashion hitherto less associated with his glowing career, one that actually began, lest it is forgotten, in 2016.  

Remember it was Shai Hope who played some solid knocks in the T20I’s against the Hardik Pandya-led Team India prior to the World Cup and it was Hope again who scored perhaps the most valiant fifties ever against what at that point in June looked a threatening USA bowling attack that all but gobbled the West Indies in Zimbabwe. 

Most recently, the man from Barbados whose heart beats for the West Indies, was at it again; as he punctured the morale of the Jos Buttler-led English side in scoring yet another one day international hundred. A timely and magnificent 109 that came off just 83 deliveries saw some belligerent hitting up the order as 7 sixes and 4 fours from the most resolute West Indian bat crippled the English. 

One hopes that Hope’s heroics were watched closely by his future IPL 2024 captain, Rishabh Pant, a far more popular hitter of the white ball and confidence killer of world’s elite bowlers but one who’d see in Shai, a friend and Hope-fully, a batting ally.  

Frankly speaking, enough has been said and rather mockingly so about the current West Indies one day captain. 

And interestingly, enough has been done by Shai Diego Hope to make himself the worthy pick that ultimately the Delhi team found him to be. 

This year alone, Shai Hope has become in addition to being a regular feature in the Windies white ball T20I side, a force to reckon with in the Caribbean Premier league. He top scored the CPL 2023 edition by firing- not amassing- 481 runs in the recent edition. In so doing, he pounded the likes of Rahkeem Cornwall against whom he collected 32 runs off just 6 deliveries in the process of which the man from Bridgetown, Barbados blasted a 41-ball-hundred. 

Surely, he’s not improved his Test creds. Yes, he’s far from being a match winner in the elite international stage of the T20I’s. 

But where 2023 has shown, then Hope’s proven himself to be a different birth alright; one who’s not afraid of discovering newer skies and flying at higher altitudes much like his stylish sixes. And this, more than anything else, is perhaps the next big story from the Caribbean that a batman hitherto considered unfit for leagues like the IPL, has actually made way to the elite tournament’s popular side. 

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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