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Home / Cricket / For Shimron Hetmyer, ‘million dollar baby’ tag can wait

For Shimron Hetmyer, ‘million dollar baby’ tag can wait

Hetmyer could not go past 20 in any of the four innings in the Test series. He, however, counts on the faith shown by West Indies greats.

cricket Updated: Oct 23, 2018, 17:03 IST
Abhishek Paul
Abhishek Paul
Hindustan Times, Visakhapatnam
West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer raises his bat and helmet after he completed his century (100 runs) during the first one day international (ODI) cricket match between India and West Indies
West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer raises his bat and helmet after he completed his century (100 runs) during the first one day international (ODI) cricket match between India and West Indies (AFP)

Shimron Hetmyer comes from Berbice, a place that turned out to be a game-changer for Indian cricket. The region in Guyana witnessed the Kapil Dev-led India defeating a strong West Indies side for the first time in an ODI in 1983. Later that year, they would go on to beat the same rivals in the World Cup final.

With such a backdrop of turn-around stories in his birthplace, Hetmyer is not new to putting up a stand. The left-handed batsman led West Indies to their first Under-19 World Cup title in Bangladesh in 2015-16. And in the first ODI in Guwahati, he scored a 78-ball 106, that turned out to be a silver lining for the West Indies in this tour.

It was his third ODI ton in 13 matches, and led to the 21-year-old being named the ‘next million dollar baby in the IPL’ by Harbhajan Singh.

“It’s a good feeling to know that one of the great spinners from India have rated me that high. It is a dream of mine but right now I am taking one step at a time. So I would see what awaits but right now I am focused on representing West Indies,” Hetmyer said a day ahead of the second ODI here.

“Everyone aspires to play in the IPL but first you want to represent West Indies. That is possibly the biggest thing you could possibly do as a cricketer and then you would take it from there.”

Hetmyer’s stroke-filled innings included six sixes and equal number of fours.

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“I did look up to Brian Lara when I used to watch cricket as a youngster but most of it (stroke-play) comes naturally to me. I am a natural stroke-player. I try to play each ball on merit,” he said.

“I had a bad Test series... not one of the best ways to start in India. But from there on, I tried to forget about that as much as possible. The senior guys helped a lot. They said don’t worry and look forward to the next game.”

Hetmyer could not go past 20 in any of the four innings in the Test series. He, however, counts on the faith shown by West Indies greats.

“I have spoken to a few legends in the past, they are quite fun actually... easy going. Lance Gibbs, Viv Richards and Brian Lara, some of the other stars. Knowing that they are backing you makes me feel good. I have quite a few experienced guys to lean on, to know how it was before and how much of big change has happened,” he said.

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