First Hour Will Be Crucial - Kraigg Brathwaite
West Indies opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite feels that the first hour of the final day will be crucial to the outcome of their second Test against England in Grenada.
Brathwaite who is unbeaten after having completed his fourth Test century sounded optimistic of his side’s chances in the game.
“Obviously the first hour will be important,” said Brathwaite.
“Once we get through that, we need to keep working harder.
“If we can pass the first hour, I certainly believe so.”
At stumps on day four, West Indies were well placed at 202 for two with first innings centurion Marlon Samuels giving company to Brathwaite.
With eight wickets in hand and a lead of 37, a lot hinges on the outcome of the second new ball which is due in five overs and Brathwaite is aware of its significance.
“I think so.
“As I said, we need to bat well in the first session as you never know.
“You never know in terms of the game as to how it will pan out.”
Brathwaite seemed pleased with his efforts after England had inflicted a first-innings lead of 175 on the hosts.
Although he lost his opening partner Devon Smith early in the innings, Brathwaite put in a gritty performance as he batted for more than five hours for his unbeaten 230-ball 101.
“Yeah obviously given the situation we were in.
“England were looking to get wickets.
“We dug in well and did a good job but need to continue it tomorrow.”
Brathwaite put on a solid 142-run partnership from 289 deliveries with Darren Bravo who stroked a fluent 147-ball 69.
Speaking on his chemistry with Bravo, Brathwaite revealed the sense of calm that the pair inflicts on each other during their partnerships.
“Me and Darren get along well.
“We are extremely comfortable with each other at the crease and that carries us through.”
Although the surface at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada is four days old, Brathwaite doesn’t feel there are any demons in it as yet.
Analyzing the pitch, the opening batsman feels that the biggest challenge on the surface is with the new ball.
“It’s a good pitch.
“Early on with the new ball, obviously it does a bit but once it gets soft, nothing much.
“Obviously it’ll spin as the ball gets older but it’s a good batting pitch.”
Although England haven’t quite run through their opponents in this series, Brathwaite was lavish in praise of the visitors’ bowling attack.
“They’re a good attack.
“James Anderson is a quality bowler and the rest of them are good too with the two off-spinners keeping things tight.”
Brathwaite had words of praise for his schoolmate Chris Jordan who is a part of the England touring squad.
Having been good friends during their school days, Brathwaite admitted it was weird to be facing each other in international cricket.
“It’s strange for sure.
“I used to call him (Jordan) as Pro.
“He is a quality cricketer and though it’s strange, that’s how it is.”
The flow of the match may have been slow at times but the sledging incidents particularly between Samuels and Ben Stokes during the match have kept it alive.
When asked if England had reduced their sledging in the second innings, Brathwaite chose to differ on the topic.
“I wouldn’t say so.
“The new ball they were having a go at it but after a while they probably slowed down.”
The third and final Test between the two sides starts on 1st May at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.
© Cricket World 2015