Sobers had spent few weeks coaching the West Indies side and tried to offer the batsman pieces of advice. @ AFP

West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers has termed Shai Hope as a class batsman ahead of the three-Test series against England in the Caribbean. According to a report in Sky Sports on Sunday, Sobers had spent few weeks coaching the West Indies side and tried to offer the batsmen pieces of advice.

Quizzed which of the Windies players has potential, Sobers, who played 93 Tests and scored 8032 runs at 57.78 and took 235 wickets, said: “Shai Hope. I saw him when the president [of Cricket West Indies] asked me to come down and do some coaching with the team for four or five weeks. The first time I saw him, I said ‘pfft, this is class! This is class’.” (ALSO READ: Hopefully we can walk away with the ICC World Cup and Ashes trophy this year: Trevor Bayliss)

Sobers strongly feels that it’s important not to change a player too much while coaching.

“He had one shot that I didn’t want to take away from him because he played it all the time and that was hitting the off-spinners, trying to hit them through mid-off and that kind of thing,” the 82-year-old said.

“Never take away what a player has, try to help him with the others or try to help him to play that shot better. After about two or three weeks watching him, I just said to him, ‘Shai, that’s your shot, don’t lose it, don’t let anybody take that away from you but I can just give you another string to your bow. (ALSO READ: West Indies stand by Richard Pybus appointment despite criticism)

“There are only two men behind square [on the legside], that’s a big area for two men to control. If you went over to the off stump a little bit, do you know how many runs you could score through there? They can’t put anybody else there, only two. Try it, if you can’t do it, put it away, play the way you play but just give it a try in the nets, practise it and see how it works for you’.

“But the coaches today just say, ‘no, bad shot. Don’t do that. Do this and do that’. I believe some of the coaching now is wrong, I don’t know why.” (ALSO READ: Don’t underestimate West Indies at home: Former coach Stuart Law warns England)

Meanwhile, Sobers reckons that England can be tough opposition even in the Caribbean. The visitors have won just one series in the last 50 years.

“England always win in the West Indies, especially here in Barbados, more so than anywhere,” Sobers said.

“This is their ground. Every series it feels like they won here.”