West Indies’ latest batting recruit, Shimron Hetmyer, has hailed his outing in the three-day tour game against Pakistan as a learning experience and an important boost to his career.
The 20-year-old struck 97 in the contest at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium in Trelawny last weekend, a knock that helped him force his way into the 13-man squad for the opening Test bowling off Friday.
“I’ve learnt that going through my innings I should take it a ball at a time and a session at a time as well,” the Guyana Jaguars left-hander said.
“[I need to also] just keep my eyes on the ball as much as possible and try and communicate as much as possible with my partner to see what’s going on. Just waiting and being more selective [is also important].”
Hetmyer has been on the selectors’ radar ever since he captained West Indies Under-19s to their triumph at last year’s Youth World Cup in Bangladesh.
He further impressed in the Regional four-day championship by gathering nearly 500 runs and was rewarded with call-up to the WICB President’s XI side to face the Pakistanis.
Hetmyer said such tour games against international opposition were crucial for young players in the region.
“I think it is very important. [It tells us] where we are in our cricket and where we should improve and where we can improve,” he pointed out.
“If this should continue and we get more youngsters in the system, they would understand where they are and know how to build later.”
A naturally aggressive player at the top of the order, Hetmyer struck 11 fours and two sixes in a breezy 115-ball innings against a Pakistan attack that included the likes of leg-spinner Yasir Shah and pacer Mohammad Amir.
He said the knock had been important since he failed to get a significant score in his previous first class outing.
“I just played to my strengths, that was mainly it. I just chose the balls that I could put away and I think I did that well,” he explained.
“The ball that I got out with I don’t think I could’ve really done that much but then again, that’s how cricket goes sometimes.”
He added: “It (innings) boosted me a lot because coming off the last first class game I played in Barbados I didn’t really get much so I was hoping to get some in this game and I think that came off.”