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by Manuj Sharma Tuesday 7 April 2015
West Indies opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite is confident of his team’s chances in the upcoming Test series against England at home.Brathwaite, who has been in good form in First-Class cricket of late, spoke about the possible challenges ahead for West Indies in the three-match series starting on 13th April.
“Obviously I’m looking forward to the home series against England,” said Brathwaite
“They’re a tough opposition, so you’ve got to work hard.
“I am hoping to translate the good form from First-Class cricket and carry it into the Test series.”
In the last four months, Brathwaite has compiled four First-Class centuries, including an impressive knock against South Africa in Port Elizabeth.
The 22-year-old attributed his transformation to a few a technical adjustments he has made coupled with his confidence to stay patient.
“I think I’m believing more in myself now and it’s working.
“Just go out there and play my natural game.
“The idea is to play as straight as possible and to back my strengths.”
The solid right-hander believes that West Indies need to show a great deal of grit and determination to survive against England’s swing bowlers.
Brathwaite is aware of the looming threat from the England fast bowlers led by James Anderson and Stuart Broad with the lanky Liam Plunkett too raring to go.While lauding the strengths of the trio, Brathwaite also had a word of praise for former Barbados teammate Chris Jordan who is now a part of the England squad.“Obviously he’s a quality bowler.
“You’ve got to have patience as they have some good bowlers.
“We need to obviously work into a plan and wait for the ball to come to your zone.”
Brathwaite’s knock of 106 against South Africa in the Boxing Day Test in Port Elizabeth impressed one and all as he spent close to five hours at the crease stroking 12 boundaries in the process.
The opening batsman believes that the knock has given him the belief to rise to new challenges that are bound to come his way in the future.
“Yes, I am hoping to take confidence from my knock against South Africa.
“Hopefully I can carry the confidence into the first Test and make it count.
“Not just the first game, but all the other matches in future.”
Dwelling on the nuances of playing a long innings in Tests, Brathwaite opines that the ability to buckle down is a crucial aspect of a batsman’s career.
Citing his knock against South Africa as an example, the Barbados player underlined the need for a batsman to maximize his strengths while also staying patient to grind out tough spells.
“It was a good experience to score against the best bowlers in the world.
“It’s really all about patience.
“At time some bowlers really do get into a rhythm but it’s important to know your strengths and execute them.”
Braithwaite was all praise for the new West Indies coach Phil Simmons, who officially took charge today through his first training session with the squad.
Simmons’ calm and composed attitude seems to have impressed Brathwaite, who added that his teammates too had a good time in the nets.
“We had a good practice session. All the guys enjoyed it.
“The new coach, he seems pretty cool and relaxed. I really enjoyed working the first day with him.”
West Indies haven’t won a Test series since March 2013 when they beat Zimbabwe 2-0 at home and have won only one of the 13 matches following that series.
Unfazed by his side’s dismal form in recent years, Brathwaite claimed that the morale in the team was extremely good.
Brathwaite revealed that all the players had a good time out in the nets honing their skills with everyone putting their maximum effort to iron out their flaws.
“There’s a good energy in the camp.
“The guys are putting a good effort to have some fitness.
“The fast bowlers all had a good workout as did the batsmen.
“It was quite a nice time this morning and I think it was a good day for the team.”
The last time England toured West Indies was back in 2009, a five-match Test series, which the latter won 1-0.
Despite West Indies’ poor form in Tests, Brathwaite is quietly confident of his side’s ability to repeat history once again against England in the series.
“It’ll be phenomenal.
“Our team is a little young but we have some experienced guys too.
“If we can play to our potential, I believe we can do it.”
Brathwaite who made his Test debut in 2011 has represented West Indies in 17 matches aggregating 1139 runs at an average of 37.96 with three centuries and six fifties.
© Cricket World 2015