For the moment, West Indies batsman Shai Hope can count himself as one of the top ten batsmen in One-Day International Cricket after scoring heavily against India in a just-concluded three-match series in that country.

Hope will end the year as the number nine batsman in the world, jumping five places on the ICC ODI Player Rankings after scoring 222 runs in those three matches at an average of 111.

Hope opened up in Chennai, helping the West Indies to a 1-0 series lead with an unbeaten 102, before he made things interesting despite losing efforts from the West Indies.

Hope would go on to score 72 in Visakhapatnam, and 42 in Cuttack to end the year with four centuries in 2019 and a healthy average of over 60, above his lifetime average of 52. The ODI top-order batsman now has eight centuries and became the quickest West Indian batsman to reach 3000 runs in the format. Only Hashim Amla has gotten to 3000 runs faster.

Hope lies ahead of all West Indies ODI batsmen, even Shimron Hetmyer, who has also seen improvement in his ICC ODI ranking. Hetmyer now lies at 19 in the world, while Nicholas Pooran, another player from West Indies’ young and exciting middle-order, now stands at 30th in the world, up from 63 after scoring 193 runs at an average of 96.50.

Hetmyer scored 180 runs at an average of 60.

Nicholas Pooran was always a talented batsman but fell off the wagon after a car crash left him unable to walk for six months.

His return to international cricket has revitalized a West Indies batting line-up accused of being altogether too inconsistent.

Pooran though, averaging 52 from his 19 games since his return to cricket, has helped to give his side the confidence that makes a dangerous side with the bat.

While that revival isn’t complete, Pooran is grateful that he has come this far and is thanking his skipper, Kieron Pollard, for making it possible.

“He’s been like a big brother to me, a father-figure. He’s been there since I returned to cricket. He gave me opportunity. I’m thankful for that,” said Pooran.

Pooran has already begun repaying Pollard the faith he put in him, scoring 29 not out off 23 balls, 75 off 47 balls and 89 off 64 balls in a recently concluded ODI series against India.

But it isn’t just off the field that Pollard has been there for Pooran, as batting with his father figure has helped him as well.

In the final ODI against India on Sunday, Pollard batted with the West Indies middle order to help them post a challenging 315-5, himself ending unbeaten on 74.

“We play with each other, with the same club, same franchise back home. So we had a good understanding of the wicket and the situation in the game and just executed our skills,” said Pooran, who scored 89 from 64 deliveries in a partnership that took the West Indies from 144-4 in the 32nd over to 279-5 in the 48th when he finally got out.

“We know how to complement each other. Polly was stronger to the spinners, so we allowed him to attack Kuldeep (Yadav) and I would try and play more shots to the pacers. It worked out,” said Pooran.

The middle-order batting has shown some improvement, but the ease with which India got to 316-6, doing so in the 49th over, winning their second series against the Windies at home this month, suggests there is still work to be done.

“Definitely we were on a team-building (mode). India are one of the strongest teams in the world. They proved that again today in the T20I and ODI series. At least we came here and we showed fight,” said Pooran.

Pooran, no stranger to adversity after fighting his way back to fitness after his accident, strongly believes the West Indies are on their way back to being the best team in the world.

“There are better things to come. We are taking it day-by-day and eventually we’ll get where we want to get,” he said.

Despite losing their T20I series to India 2-1 thanks to a 67-run defeat in Mumbai, West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard is looking forward to the upcoming ODIs saying there are many positives for his young charges.

"Taking the positives, when you look at our performances with the bat through the series, consistent, we'll take that as a unit,” said Pollard.

“Yes, we lost 2-1, but we have three more games to look forward to in the ODIs."

The all-rounder, who slammed 68 from just 38 deliveries in a valiant but in vain effort to chase down the 240-3 made by Virat Kohli’s side, understands that the West Indies need to sort out how they go about bowling in T20Is.

Sent into bat, India’s Rohit Sharma smashed 71 from 34 deliveries, while his opening partner and eventual man of the match, KL Rahul scored a brisk 91, doing so off 56 deliveries. Kohli himself was savage, ending unbeaten on 70 from 29 balls.

In reply, the West Indies would end on a creditable 173-8 despite a top-order collapse.

“At the end of the day, we know we need to get better at executing with the ball,” said Pollard.

On the other hand, Pollard believes such is the power and class of the young side, which lost Evin Lewis to a knee injury while they were fielding, that any total is gettable.

“In our minds [240 was gettable]. 230 has been chased here when England played South Africa,” he said.

The youthfulness of the side is also something that gives Pollard reason to hope for a turnaround in results in the near future.

“There's a lot of emerging players coming through. Yes, the bowling is a concern, but we have a roster of guys coming through. Those are the areas, but we know success is a boring thing, you need to do the right things day in and day out,” he said.

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