Shimron Hetmyer had made a major impression during the 2018 series in India when he blasted 106 and 94 in his first two ODIs. The left-hander, along with Shai Hope had kept West Indies in the hunt for the first two games but West Indies still managed to lose the series 3-1 against Virat Kohli's Indian cricket team. On Sunday at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai, Hetmyer and Hope once again put on an exhibition of batting as they smashed centuries to help West Indies beat India by eight wickets and take a 1-0 lead in the series. Hope's eighth ton and Hetmyer's fifth century resulted in a record 218-run stand for the second wicket and West Indies chased down a big total on a sluggish wicket.
Speaking after the end of the game, Hetmyer labelled this knock as his best ever and spoke about the dynamics of batting with Hope. "We just keep it simple because we've played with each other for quite a while now. So, I know his game and he knows mine. So, basically when we're batting together, most of the time, I'm the aggressor and he's the person who sticks around and bats around. And if he gets the boundary ball, he puts it away. For us, it's always nice batting with someone like him because he's going to make sure you get the strike as much as possible and it's easier to execute," Hetmyer said.
His knock of 139 came off just 106 balls and it included 11 fours and seven sixes but expressed disappointment that he could not finish the game as he miscued a short ball from Mohammed Shami to be caught at deep midwicket. "This is my highest score in international cricket, so this would be the best one. It's always nice chasing a score than a setting one. Chasing and taking the team home is a much better feeling. Sad that I didn't finish the game, but it's a work in progress for me," Hetmyer said.
Asked if he was trying to prove a point with a ton days before the IPL auction, he said for him it was about enjoying his batting. "To me it's about enjoying my batting, it's cricket, sometimes you score runs and sometimes you don't. Didn't have the best IPL (2019 season), it's a nice experience, it always helps you to come back much stronger from there. I just try as much as possible to put that behind me," he said. The left-handed batsman played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2019 season, scoring 90 runs from five matches. The IPL auction will be held on December 19 in Kolkata.
Hetmyer was happy that his century in Chennai was redemption as his first one against India in Guwahati resulted in a loss. "I don't know from where the power is coming from. I am trying to hit as hard as I can. This ton means a lot to me. The last one I had was at the start of the year and this one came at the end of the year. It is always nice to have a smile on the face after the victory. It's a good feeling because the last time, I got a hundred in India, we lost the game," Hetmyer said. The second match will take place on December 18 at Vizag.