The 21-year-old Hetmyer bludgeoned his way to a 78-ball 106 in the first ODI against India in Guwahati, redeeming himself after a disastrous Test series, in which he managed just 50 runs across four innings at 12.50.
“I did look up to Brian Lara when I used to watch cricket, but most of it (shots) comes naturally to me. I am a natural stroke-player and try to play each ball on merit,” Hetmyer said during a chat after a training session.
“I have spoken to a few legends in the past, they are quite fun actually, easy going -- Lance Gibbs, Sir Viv Richards and Brian Lara, Some of the other stars, too. Knowing that they are backing you makes me feel good,” he said.
“They tell me to be ‘just be yourself’, they give suggestions like play each ball on merit and all. They try to help in every way possible, make it as easy as possible for us and encouraging us to keep pushing,” he added.
At the Barsapara Stadium, the Guyanese looked a far cry from his struggles in the Tests, nonchalantly hitting six sixes and as many fours, his knock also adding a dash of the Caribbean flavour of the good old days.
“I had a bad Test series, it was not one of the best ways to start a series in India but from there on I tried to forget about that as much as possible and the senior guys helped. They said don’t worry and look forward to the next game,” he said.
India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is sure he will be a big draw in the next Indian Premier League (IPL) players’ auction, thanks to his big-hitting capabilities.
Unlike a few renowned players from the Caribbean islands who have turned to T20 leagues across the world, Hetmyer said his first priority now is to represent the West Indies.
“It’s a good feeling to know that one of the great spinners from India has rated me that high. It is a dream of mine but right now I am taking one step at a time, so I would see what awaits,” he said.
“I think everyone aspires to play in the IPL but first you want to represent West Indies,” he added.