By: Chinmay Vaidya
For too many years, the West Indies have failed to make an impact on the ODI stage due to their inconsistency and lack of overall talent. The islands churned out stars like Brian Lara, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard in recent years, but they didn't match the talent level of other countries. The West Indies' "golden generation" was literally a full generation ago.
Luckily, it appears the West Indies have found their next stars in Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope. The duo shined against India in the five-game ODI series and both players are young enough to see the West Indies through the next decade. Most importantly, their contrasting styles create the ideal pairing for the West Indies.
Hetmyer is an explosive left-handed batsmen at the top of the order who can do damage quickly. Through 17 ODI matches, he's already accumulated 738 runs and carries a strike rate of 108.52. Hope is the more traditional batsman with a strike rate of 68.73. The right-hander can be an anchor in the West Indies middle order for years to come and his 40.14 average in ODIs provides a good foundation for his future success.
Against India, Hetmyer and Hope combined for 509 runs across the five-game series. They were instrumental in the West Indies winning one game and tying another. Both players scored one century and one half-century, showing they have the ability to put up big runs.
Hetmyer is 21 and Hope is 24. There are still kinks to work out (such as Hope's two ducks and Hetmyer's inconsistency), but the West Indies appear to have finally found their next stars.