Why Evin Lewis desperately needs a career resurgence
Evin Lewis needs a little over 500 runs to touch 1,500 T20I runs. May 2023 be a career-defining year for the mighty trouncer of bowlers.
No ground is big enough for him when he gets going. But the question is when is Evin Lewis gonna get going, again?
Evin Lewis needs a little over 500 runs to touch 1,500 T20I runs.
He has a strike rate of 151 that on most days would inspire the A-listers in the game endlessly.
And, importantly he’s scored 2 centuries in the shorter format accompanied by 10 fifties.
For someone who’s just played 52 innings so far, it’s not too bad.
Yet, the most fascinating part of the Trinidadian batsman’s performance in the game’s most popular format is that he’s hit 111 sixes as on date.
Kieron Pollard, his contemporary, played 101 T20I’s and ended his journey with the West Indies on 99 sixes. Meanwhile, Andre Russell’s hit
62 from 67 T20I’s.
Truth be told, Evin Lewis doesn’t only supersede two of his famous West Indian colleagues by account of sixes; his highest score in a format where West Indies are considered bonafide cult heroes is 125.
If that’s not envy inspiring then what is?
Yet, to assess the true worth of a cricketer you’ll have to go by a definition that the Lara’s and Sachin’s swear by.
It’s that a cricketer is only as good as his last knock.
And by that measure it doesn’t really seem as though Evin Lewis is hot property as of now.
In the recent T20I World Cup, Lewis scored 42 runs from 3 innings.
He failed to convert starts. He was given all the opportunity in the world from which to score having been drafted in up top. And his highest score was a paltry 15.
He’s the same Evin Lewis who brought the curtains on an India powered by KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in an extraordinary batting display at America during his whirlwind knock of 100 on August 27, 2016.
Back then, Lewis required only 49 deliveries to notch up a maiden career hundred.
And since then, despite having 50 more T20I’s against his name, Lewis hasn’t scored another hundred except for that one inning in 2017 where he touched the three-figure-mark rather triumphantly versus India.
Of course what was brilliant about Lewis batting over half a decade back in time was that when he touched his second – and thus far only- hundred, his strike rate was 200.
Gayle and Samuels watched that rattler of an inning in pure we from the other end.
Just that things seem to have changed today as Lewis is that guy who’s seen at the other end whilst others in his side, whether Hope, Mayers, Brandon King or Nicholas Pooran get the job done.
On his part, Evin Lewis fares much better in ODI’s having conjured 1847 runs at a healthy average north of 36, which going by his natural clean-hitting talent would look respectable at 40.
But here’s the truth. To a West Indies looking to get going in its present post-Gayle era, Evin Lewis must pull up his socks.
When he arrived, together with Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis was the third cog in the wheel that was to have turned a corner for the West Indies cricket.
And here he is; he’s yet to make the most of his talent in white-ball-cricket and hasn’t yet broken into Tests.
Why can’t he is something only he and his selectors can answer though why he must is a no-brainer.
The Windies need to get a move on; they have such fine talent but only a few stick on. Moreover, world cricket needs a strong West Indies side whose biggest strength as one may agree has been the brute force of its batters.
There were the Roy Fredericks’. Then there were the Sobers’. Then came the Viv’s and Lara’s.
And finally, we saw the Gayle’s and later, Pooran.
But hang on; a certain Evin Lewis, who’s clearly demonstrated himself as the true natural successor to Christopher Henry Gayle, isn’t done yet.
In fact, having just turned 31, Evin Lewis is at the peak of his powers. He’s been injured in the past, battled indifferent friends and come back to his best again.
If there’s a time where he’s needed to be his usual self- big hitting, brutal and burlesque – then it’s now.
Luckily, Lewis’s game is not just about beating the white ball to the smithereens. He sweeps and pulls and cuts.
In the 2019 white ball series against Afghanistan in India, he took on Rashid and Mujeeb on his own.
He was anything but uncomfortable; rather, he was formidable.
Furthermore, in the 2021 T20 World Cup, a first for him and his Windies in the UAE, Lewis soldiered on and often single handedly, in games like South Africa.
He doesn’t seem overwhelmed despite playing in a side that has a plethora of match winners- whether Gayle, Pollard, Badree, Samuels or Russell, as seen in the past.
And most vitally, he’ll seem totally at home once he continues to score with rich aplomb with Hetmyer, Mayers, King, Joseph and Powell as his teammates.
The chance is now. He’s not growing old but then, this isn’t 2016 when things seemed easy.
Evin Lewis must find a way himself to unjumble the puzzle he’s self created by not scoring well consistently or not nearly enough.
And for that no one can be blamed but the December 27-born dasher of the
May 2023 be a career-defining year for the mighty trouncer of bowlers.