2018-19 Windies tour of Bangladesh ODI series…
– batsman raising stock across all formats
By Clifton Ross
Guyanese and Windies batting sensation Shimron Hetmyer continues to improve his brand of cricket with every match following his move up the Test levels and now he has another chance to further climb the One-Day International (ODI) ladder.
The Berbician, who shot up to 26th place on the International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI rankings following a successful tour of India, recently eased his way to 52nd place, but could soon leapfrog the Virat Kohli-headed list.
Hetmyer finished the Bangladesh Tests with 222 runs and is six shy of 600 Test runs from 10 matches. Although he narrowly missed his maiden Test ton in the last game when he was out for 93 in the second innings against the Tigers, the left-hander now heads into the ODI series with a chance to further up his limited overs rankings.
By far the most in-form batsman in the Windies team, the Guyana Jaguars opener hit phenomenal form in 2018, dating back to the initial home series against Bangladesh where he thumped the Tigers around the Caribbean, including at his home ground of Providence, where he scored a maiden record ton. Going on to the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), the 21-year-old lit up the tournament playing for the Guyana Amazon Warriors who made the final.
The Windies U-19 World Cup winning skipper showed his maturity during the India series; especially in the ODI series where he pummelled 259 runs over the five matches. His magical 106 earned him further praise while his 94 could have easily allowed him to etch his name in the books.
He ended the ODI series against a battery of class India bowlers, namely their spinners, with an average of 51.80 before managing a few starts in the T20s. Hetmyer would then relive his encounter against the Tigers; this time in their backyard as he counterpunched the Bangladeshis amid a dismal batting performance from his teammates.
He hit 63, 93, 39 and 27 in the two-Test series which saw him jump a number of spots to his current place. Now with the ODI series looming, it will be critical to see how the Windies use him given his form this year against the hosts. A shift in form could see a more dangerous version of the Guyanese batsman who now fetches a healthy ODI average of 43.41, excellent stats for any batsman with just 17 One Dayers to his name. His conversion rate in ODIs is also impressive with two fifties and three hundreds, evidence that once he passes fifty, it is likely he will score 100.
Bangladesh will likely field a slightly different squad from the Tests’ with Tamim Iqbal and skipper Shakib Al-Hasan back in the green colours, but it will be interesting to see their plan of attack for Hetmyer, who has been toying with all their bowlers during 2018.
Also, with Shai Hope being the other in-form batsman in the side, the re-inclusion of Darren Bravo and others for the ODI series could see Hetmyer batting up the order with a new partner or likely remaining in the still uncustomary position in the middle – where he has been carrying his weight.
Hetmyer and the West Indies will meanwhile lock up with the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI on Thursday for their 50-Over tour matches, with the first of three ODIs – a day-night affair bowling off on Saturday at Dhaka.