Jermaine Blackwood Heaps Praise On Darren Bravo
West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood heaped praises on teammate Darren Bravo after the duo’s partnership took the team to a historical six-wicket win over England in Barbados on Sunday.
The pair put on a match-winning 108-run partnership to carry West Indies home after the team was reduced to 80 for four at one stage and Blackwood felt Bravo deserved major credit for it.
“He helped to calm me down,” said Blackwood.
“He kept saying to look a 10-run targets and kept pushing me all the way through.
“Told me to rotate strike and just be patient which worked well for us.”
Having come in at Shai Hope’s early dismissal, Bravo was at his classy best as he compiled a 148-ball 82 to lead the West Indies chase.
Blackwood who remained unbeaten on 47 after Bravo departed at the doorstep of victory expressed happiness at being able to see the team through.
The 23-year-old who had been impressive throughout the series with the willow seemed visibly happy as he reflected on what he termed as a special win for West Indies.
“It’s a very special moment to carry the team over the line.
“It’s a good feeling and the win was important for everyone.
“When I was batting with Bravo, I was trying to take it step by step and eventually we got across the line.”
If Blackwood played a useful knock in the chase, it was his brilliant counter-attack in the first innings that allowed West Indies to reduce their deficit which eventually proved vital.
The right-hander stroked a fluent 88-ball 85 studded with 11 fours and four sixes to singlehandedly carry West Indies from 37 for four to 189.
Despite missing out on another well-deserved Test hundred, Blackwood insisted that he hadn’t thought about the milestone at all.
"No, I wasn’t thinking about a hundred at any point.
“The idea was to get us closer to the England total as much as possible.
“I was just looking to collect as many runs as I could and so no regrets.”
Set a tricky target of 192 to win, Blackwood opined that the plan was to purely blunt the English bowling attack as time wasn’t an issue in the game.
Despite playing an aggressive knock in the first innings, Blackwood seemed happy to play second fiddle to Bravo in an extremely contrasting knock.
“Yes, it was a matter of backing yourself and being patient while also rotating the strike.
“Bravo’s presence helped a lot as I said earlier.
“He was batting really well so I just had to give him support.”
Blackwood seemed happy with the amount of support received from the Caribbean and English fans throughout the series.
The promising batsman also added that the experience of having countered pressure situations before helped him tackle the noisy crowds.
“The support was great from the Caribbean people and also from the English people.
“I would like to thank them for all the support.
“I’ve been under pressure before so it was nothing new for me.”
Although Blackwood has impressive statistics in his short Test career thus far, he refused to be overawed by the numbers.
Emphasizing on his love for Test cricket, Blackwood expressed happiness at being able to represent West Indies in the longer format of the game.
“I wasn’t too bothered about my stats. The intent was to get some runs and I’m happy I could do it. I love playing Test cricket for the West Indies.”
From eight Tests, Blackwood has aggregated 554 runs at an average of 50.36 with one century and four fifties.
© Cricket World 2015