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England v West Indies

Curtly Ambrose calls for West Indies to leave out Shai Hope for the third Test

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Curtly Ambrose feels Shai Hope could benefit from a rest in the third Test of the series against England as his dire run of form in Tests continues.

Hope hasn’t scored a century in the format for almost three years now – his last Test hundred came on the last West Indies’ tour of England in 2017 when he reached three figures in both the innings of the Headingley Test.

The right-hand batsman, who has impressed in the ODI format, scoring 3289 runs at 52.20 for the West Indies,  has returned scores of 16, 9, 25 and 7 respectively in the two Tests of the series so far. And Ambrose believes resting Hope for the third Test might help him “regain confidence”.

“Something has gone terribly wrong for him since those two centuries at Headingley – he hasn’t done anything really in Test cricket since then,” Ambrose told Sky Sports Cricket. “He is a much better player than what he is showing at the moment and is obviously very low on confidence.

“Maybe in the next game we should rest him so he can regain some confidence. If you keep playing him and he keeps failing it will only get worse. You are going to destroy him if it continues like that.

“I like Hope a lot. I think he is a fantastic player but this is not doing his confidence any good. Are West Indies going to go with him again? It’s a tough call. I am inclined to give him another go but by bringing someone else in he could get totally away from the game for a little bit and get his mind together.”

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons admitted during the post-match press conference that he is concerned about Hope’s form as well.

“Yes, I’m concerned,” Simmons said. “He’s gone four innings without a score, in contrast to how he played over the last five, six months in the other formats. I am concerned about his form, and we’ll be sitting down and chatting about that over the next couple of days.”

The three-Test series is now finely poised at 1-1 after Ben Stokes’ heroics in the second match helped England bounce back. The third and final match will start on Friday, July 24 at Emirates Old Trafford.

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