BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – With the odds yet again firmly stacked against West Indies in the upcoming One-Day International series, marquee batsman Shai Hope says the Caribbean are bracing for a strong challenge from England but also plan to counter with firepower of their own.
West Indies are ranked ninth in the ICC one-day rankings and face a number one-ranked England side, already pencilled in as firm favourites to win the World Cup at home later this year.
However, Hope said while the Wes Indies were cognisant of the challenge, they were not intimidated and would be looking to spring a surprise, similar to what occurred in the preceding three-Test series.
“We’re an international team, we’ve come here to play cricket and we just view it as a challenge. We know they’re going to come at us hard and we’ve got to do the same – fight fire with fire,” Hope said here Saturday.
“It’s a lot to look forward to, very exciting times especially leading up to the World Cup so I’m sure the guys are ready and raring to go. We’re just coming off a Test series win so it’s important for us to continue in that vein and try to get the series win as well.”
He added: “We can use this as a good gauge for us going into the World Cup. We’re still looking at some plans [in terms of] what is the best fit and [team] combination but it’s a good challenge for us and we’ve got some work to do.”
The two teams clash in the opening ODI at Kensington Oval here, with the hosts seeking their first series win over their opponents in 12 years.
They will be motivated by their performance in the Test series, however, where they tore up the form books to crush the English in the opening two Tests, and regain the Wisden Trophy or the first time in a decade.