Darren Bravo believing “it is time” he started scoring goals for West Indies again, after having run into difficulties while touring in New Zealand.
Bravo started the tour well, with a century in its first warm-up match against New Zealand A in Queenstown, and is expected to play a key role for West Indies in the two Test matches.
“I’m at a stage where I better understand my game,” Bravo said at virtual media interactions in Queenstown on Sunday. “Obviously more mature and I’m thinking and things like that. I think it’s time I got to do it one more time.”
West Indies has one more warm-up match three days before the Test, as well as three T20Is, although Bravo is not part of that squad. His 135 is the highest individual score in the match against New Zealand A, which also serves as a reminder of the stark differences in Bravo’s hitting home and away. He has played 29 Tests at home with an average of 26.78, but when he is not playing at home, his shooting average is up to 50.39. Only one of eight Tests in the hundreds has been printed at home, and Bravo hopes the trip to New Zealand for its first Test outside the Caribbean since 2016 will also return to its original form.
“I don’t know exactly what the reason is [the difference in the home and away records], “he said.” But if I had to say it, there might be less distraction. When you are away from home, you tend to find it easier. Maybe conditions help certain types of players too, it all depends on your style of play. Whenever I fight for the West Indies, I try my best to do my best, but for some reason it tends to be my preference when I’m away from the Caribbean. May luck continue in this series. “
Bravo fights at No.3 against New Zealand A, the same place he will hit in a Test match too. He has played more innings in three innings than any other number, having made his debut at the venue too a decade ago in November 2010, but that was not what he chose for himself.
“Initially when I entered the Testing team, I fought at No. 3. No chance of hitting at No. “4 with a player like Shivnarine Chanderpaul, so I have no choice but to get into third place,” he said. “I think I did pretty well there (he averaged 40.08 on three, way above his career mark of 37.69), but if I had a choice I would go for No.4. But I’m willing to do whatever it takes. for that team to do well, so here it is, I’m back at No.3 again and looking forward to it.
“For every inning to be successful you definitely need a very good foundation. Hitting at No.3 is important. I set that foundation for the midfield, I didn’t want to expose them early to new balls. But having said that, players like Roston Chase and Shamarh Brooks has been doing pretty well, so I’m pretty sure the lads will do well. But as a senior player it’s important for me to set the tone and set the right example. I know some people definitely look up to me as a player. captain Trinidad and Tobago in a four day tournament [Bravo captained the team in the early part of 2020] sort of gave me insight into what it takes to become a leader. “
New Zealand’s West Indies Tour will be one of the first high-profile cricket series to allow spectators to be in stadiums following the Covid-19 pandemic. While admitting that fans in the stands add a lot to the atmosphere, Bravo says he prefers empty galleries when hitting.
“You definitely like the fans in the stadium but for me, even more so when I’m batting, whether there are fans or not, it doesn’t really make a difference,” he said. “Actually, it’s easier when the fans aren’t around [laughs]. But it would be nice to have fans in that game, it would be great. “
As one of the team’s senior members, Bravo has given hitting tips to the players, but he is not careful to take advice in return, even from the younger set.
“I try my best to give as much advice as possible. I even take advice, even from the youngest players,” he said. “I believe when you give advice, you open yourself up to other players, that in itself gives you confidence. There will be situations where you might need help, the same young or senior players can come up to you and say, ‘You might try. this.’
“So overall, communication is very important. Not only talking about the talk, but also walking. As a team, we have tried to do that at every step of the way. It will take a little time, but I believe it’s time we got it right.”