West Indies opener Shai Hope said that while some of his teammates may have Thursday’s Indian Premier League auction on their minds, the focus will be on the second One-day International against India on Wednesday at Visakhapatnam.

Talking about whether the Windies will be thinking about the IPL auction, Hope said, “I am sure it would be but I am sure that’s secondary. We came here to play a series against India so whatever comes secondary is secondary.

“I am sure some of the guys will be looking forward to the auction but we have an India series to play and that’s the main thing right now,” he added on the eve of the second game.

West Indies lead the three-match series 1-0 after winning the first match in Chennai by eight wickets.

Hope, who carried his bat in the first ODI win, is currently third in the ODI run-getters’ list of 2019 with 1225 runs behind Virat Kohli (1292 runs) and Rohit Sharma (1268 runs).

Is there an added motivation to surpass the Indian superstars? “Thanks for heads up. Obviously I have to ask the bowlers to do some damage as well,” he replied.

“As a batsman, you want to contribute as much as possible and if it helps the team win even more satisfying. Hopefully, we can remove them at the top and then get some big runs and get to the top of that run-getters list,” he said.

A team-man to the core, Hope doesn’t mind keeping wickets for 50 overs and then batting for another 50. “It’s a tough job but it takes a toll on the body but I want to remind myself that everyone in the Caribbean is supporting us. If I am required to keep 100 overs and then asked to bat, I am going to do that,” Hope said.

Batting with a flamboyant player like Shimron Hetmyer might make someone feel inferior but Hope knew he had to play a contrasting knock in the first match. “I think it’s difficult for me when you see someone at the other end going so easy. You just want to join the party but I have to keep reminding myself that I can’t let the opposition make inroads.

“If one man is attacking at the other end, it’s not necessary to have a go if the run rate is under control. Key is to be aware of what the team needs,” he said.

Hope insisted that the Vizag track would be a challenge for bowlers. “Looks better for batting. The ball will come on a bit more. I think it will be easier for scoring and bowlers will have more difficult job on this surface.”

With PTI Inputs