Your Team Needs Urgent Runs From You Brandon King!
“How soon can Brandon King offer runs from top of the order”
For a team that may have won two in two games in the ongoing World Cup qualifiers but still has a massive game approaching in the form of the contest against Zimbabwe, just how comfortable would the West Indies look with only Shai Hope scoring the runs?
While Shai Hope is being as resourceful and purposeful as he can possibly be, being at the peak of his powers whilst also serving as the true captain, do others around him not have in them to rise to the occasion?
Of course, only the opposite is true for one saw the way Nicholas Pooran, who recently brought up (just) his second one-day century in the format came up good with the runs. Nepal bowlers were sent on a leather-hunt as one saw a fresh-looking Pooran, ready to spend time at the middle, was batting as best as he possibly could.
In their recent win, the flamboyant Trinidadian left hander provided the useful bulk of runs when they greatly mattered.
As a matter of fact, post completing the game but not without that 101 run victory over Nepal, Shai Hope lauded Pooran by stating that, “He made batting easy for me at the other end.”
But if there was a sight that was rather sad, if stating the term pitiable would be going an extra mile needlessly, then it was seeing Brandon King missing out on getting a very good score.
On a surface where the ball seemed to have assisted the bowlers in just the initial phase of the West Indian batting inning, it was far too brief a stay for Brandon King; the elegant right hander departing after only scoring a breezy 32 with the bat.
Surely, a thirty something knock in the limited overs format cannot be classified as a huge failure. It isn’t. But then when crucial runs are needed and desperately so, given the disparate state of affairs the West Indies find themselves in, in having to play several weaklings in a bid to qualify (for WC 2023), you can’t help but reflect on the fact that such a talented batter walked after scoring just 32.
Of course, the 32 from King’s bat that did feature some glowing hits on either side of the ground was a welcome respite from the duck he had scored in the series opener for the West Indies against the USA outfit.
Over-reliance on Hope?
But for someone who has been in great touch having scored a commanding- if also a maiden- hundred in the same format just a fortnight ago, you tend to feel that Brandon King could’ve done a lot more.
One can’t be possibly gladder about the fact that the present-day team has a Shai Hope as the giant pivot around which the West Indian scoring in one-dayers revolves. But then, Shai Hope, for all his great, class and game awareness, can not be expected to score in every single game.
What if, Hope falters sometime soon in the series? Can he even afford to, many us can’t be blamed for thinking, given his top order isn’t really delivering the results that would draw inspiration for the rest of the batters?
A class player, a clutch player: Brandon King
Though on his part, Brandon King, who stroked his way to a glowing 64 vs the UAE in the previously held practice game, has looked solid this year.
Having scored a few runs and amid pressure in the briefest format of the game, Brandon, it is time, plays like a King in the format where the West Indies have been two-time world cup winners.
That he most certainly can is beyond doubt. He’s got the temperament, and as seen even in the one dayers held in South Africa, the right hander can change gears quickly once he gets his eye in.
Which is precisely what Hope and the rest in the team would be hoping for particularly in the huge contest against Zimbabwe.
Interestingly, here’s some food for thinking:
Even as the captain has conceded that it ‘doesn’t’ matter if one does not scale a milestone for as long as the runs come, what is stopping the likes of Brandon King and Kyle Mayers to target some in the games that are ahead?
Probably, seeing Mayers get a few under his belt would rub off well on Brandon King or maybe it’s vice-versa. Whatever be the case, each game from here is absolutely critical and it is time that the team overly reliant on Hope’s doggedness saw its openers put the bowlers to the sword.
It would require more focus and of course, playing like that king who leaves little to chance. And Brandon, with 741 runs from 26 games, can get that done.