Jul 24, 2021 Sports
By Sean Devers
Kaieteur News – When Shimron Hetymer twice failed his fitness tests and failed to produce the runs his obvious natural talent suggested he should due to his erratic shot-selection and was not selected in the 30-man Test squad, I was not surprised.
But after the Guyanese left-hander returned from the IPL and after his conversations with white ball Skipper Kerion Pollard, he demonstrated a vast improvement mentally during his batting. He looked fitter and stronger and showed tremendous maturity and his 61 against Australia was wonderfully constructed.
He played balls along the ground and picked the right ball to hit out of it. It was an innings of superb temperament and responsibility. Hetymer has played 46 ODIs, averages 36.02 and has five centuries and four half-centuries since making his ODI debut against Pakistan in Jamaica in 2017.
In his last ODI match against Australia in Barbados, the 24-year-old left-handed Guyanese scored 11 in the unfamiliar opening position when the entire top order failed and were tottering at 27-6.
In that game Evin Lewis got a first ball duck, Jason Mohammed was comprehensively bowled for 2, Dwayne Bravo fell for 2, Nicolas Pooran was LBW for a duck and Jason Holder also made a duck as Australia destroyed the West Indies by 133 runs.
The Berbician scored a wonderfully constructed innings against Australia after making 20 in the previous T20I before he was rested. In the last T20I games in the series against South Africa Hetmyer made 33 and virtually secured his place for the T20 World Cup later this year.
With his vastly superior ODI record in comparison to that of Trinidadian Jason Mohammed, 10 years his senior, it was baffling that Hetymer who scored more than every other specialist batsman in the first ODI debacle at the Kensington oval, was left out of the next game.
What was perplexing is the fact that Hetymer, a middle order batsman, was used as make shift opener in the absence of the injured Shai Hope and then dropped. This brings to mind the way that Guyanese Leon Johnson and Assad Fudadin were asked to open and then discarded.
Not getting any CWI press release that Hetymer is injured only fuels speculation among West Indies fans as to the reason for his removal from the team. Mohammed has played 35 ODIs, averages 22.10 and is yet make an ODI century while managing just four fifties since making his debut in this format against India in December 2011.
He has taken just eight wickets with innocuous off spin from his 35 ODIs with three of them coming in one game. Mohammed has scores of 2 against Australia, 8 and 13 against Sri Lanka in ODI series and 1 against Guyana in the Regional Super50 in Antigua in his last four innings.
It is time that Chairman of the CWI selection panel, Roger Harper, explains why Hetymer, who seems not an automatic pick for the 50-over World Cup, was omitted and Mohammed retained.
West Indies need to get valuable points to stay in contention for automatic qualification for the 50-over World Cup and their bowling dose not really depends on Mohammed’s ordinary off-spin. However, the batting is the problem and Mohammed looked at sea at number 3, a position that Hetymer could have occupied.
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