Aakash Chopra has lauded Shai Hope for proving his critics wrong by scoring a century in his 100th ODI for the West Indies.
Hope scored 115 runs off 135 deliveries as the hosts set a challenging 312-run target for Team India in the second ODI at the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on Sunday, July 24. The knock, however, went in vain as the Men in Blue chased down the target with two deliveries to spare to clinch the series before the final game.
Reflecting on the West Indies innings in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra praised Hope for achieving a significant milestone, elaborating:
"Shai Hope - he became the 10th player to score a century in his 100th ODI. The start was decent, Shai Hope did play a little slow and there was some criticism that he was playing for himself."
Chopra pointed out that the Windies opener eventually showcased his class after a poor run with the bat. The former Indian batter explained:
"He was in very bad form coming into this series, runs were not coming from his bat. But eventually class will come through, if the player is good, he will score runs day-after if not today or tomorrow. He scored a century and showed that the guy has the might, his numbers against India are very good in any case."
Shai Hope had scored just 52 runs in his previous six ODI innings before Sunday's game. The wicketkeeper-batter enjoys an excellent record against India in ODI cricket, having amassed 855 runs at an impressive average of 47.50 in 22 games.
"He was covering up for Shai Hope till the time he was batting" - Aakash Chopra on Nicholas Pooran
Aakash Chopra praised Nicholas Pooran as well for making up for the slightly circumspect knock played by Hope. He observed:
"Brandon King was made to fall on his knees by Yuzi Chahal for a duck. Nicholas Pooran - he was brilliant, took the team to a huge total. In fact, he was covering up for Shai Hope till the time he was batting."
"Kyle Mayers started very well actually. Deepak Hooda bowled a good ball to get a regulation caught-and-bowled. Axar Patel also picked up a wicket, he dismissed Shamarh Brooks, it was a good ball and it was good captaincy from Shikhar there, stood himself at slip and took a good catch."
Aakash Chopra also highlighted that the West Indies have made the naysayers who were terming their batting extremely weak eat their words. The Caribbean side have scored more than 300 runs in both ODIs against Team India, chasing in the first game and setting a target in the second.
Poll : Will Shai Hope score a half-century in the 3rd ODI against India?