Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bravo, Brathwaite grateful for help

When Kraigg Brathwaite reached his first Test century and Darren Bravo his first in the Caribbean and on home soil, they were not thinking of themselves only.

Bravo ran towards where his parents sat in the stands and also dedicated his 109 to the Special Olympics athletes of Trinidad and Tobago. He also took the time to thank brother Dwayne for the chat they had before the match, and mentor Brian Lara.

“Brian is my role model,” Bravo said after scoring his sixth Test century.

“When he scored his first hundred (in T&T), I was right up in the members stand looking on, so I knew that whenever I got the opportunity, I wanted to go out there and actually make a hundred on my home ground. It was my first hundred in the Caribbean, so it was a special one, knowing I made it in front of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Bravo also spoke about timely advice from the former West Indies ace batsman Lara before the match. “He just told me that I should concentrate as much as possible. He has been looking at me for quite some time and he believes that my concentration tends to lack a little bit. He told me that whenever I get past 30, my average tends to be in the high 70s, so what he was trying to say, whenever you get a start it’s very important that you carry on, so I listened to him. It was a great feeling and I would like to thank him very, very much.”

Brathwaite, 21, made the most of his recall to the Test side for this match with his 129, spread over six hours. And when he got the single that took him to three figures, there was one he remembered instantly.

“I thought about my father,“ said Brathwaite, to whom he dedicated the knock. The opener also mentioned the work he did recently with “positive person” Sir Viv Richards at the Sagicor High Performance Centre, which has helped with his new approach to batting.

He was also grateful to Bravo with whom he put on 182, a record for the fourth wicket against New Zealand. “Obviously he’s a good player. He was talking to me a lot, telling me to play straight and it worked out for both of us,” he said.

And Bravo also was full of praise for his batting partner.

“I must say very well done to Kraigg. That was a fantastic innings. He eased the pressure on me the way he batted. He’s very disciplined, so I was happy to bat with him, I’m happy that mself and Kraigg were able to put the team in the driving seat.”