Dwayne Bravo is set to make a return to the West Indies team when he turns out against the Prime Minister's XI in today's warm-up match at the Manuka Oval. It will be the first international day/night match at the ground.
The Windies vice-captain last wore the Number 47 jersey when he celebrated victory in the ICC World T20 Championship final on October 7 last year – his 29th birthday. He missed the tour of Bangladesh late last year but is promising to be back with a bang as he lines up against the Ricky Ponting-led side.
"We are happy to be here. I've been out for a while and I'm happy to be back for the West Indies. The Prime Minister always fields a good XI – as we can see led by Ricky Ponting, one of the greatest captains to play the game. We are looking forward to playing against him once again and starting the tour with a win," said Bravo.
He was speaking yesterday as the West Indies held a full training session at the match venue. After training they were special guests at the official welcome function hosted by Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Bravo has represented West Indies for nine seasons and is on his fourth trip Down Under.
"As a senior player, I am looking to share my knowledge and experience of having played in Australia over the years with the younger players. We have a few players who are here for the first time, so we hope they can come along and have a good five-match ODI series," Bravo added.
"Playing [against] Australia at home is never going to be easy, but we feel our chances are very good. We have some good players in the set-up and as a team we will give it our best shot and the people in Australia will see some good cricket. Playing in Australia is always great – lovely conditions and pitches and the fans come out and support cricket. We will focus on what we have to do."
Bravo also suggested that the team has benefitted from the knowledge and experience of the players who participated in the Australian Big Bash League.
"It gives us an advantage and gives us an insight into how the Aussies think," Bravo said. "The Big Bash helped us a lot in getting used to the conditions and we're going to try to make sure to pass on whatever advantage we have."
Chris Gayle, the game's most powerful batsman, has also attracted the attention of everyone in Canberra. Three years ago when the two sides last met, the 33-year-old smashed an amazing 146 off just 89 balls—with eight sixes—as the Windies made 399-5 off 45 overs.
Bravo noted: "We all know Chris is one of the best players in the world, you can't hide that, and these conditions suit him. I hope that people remember that and know that he's still a dangerous batsman."