Bravo planning a special something

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad — Expect “something special” from Darren Bravo during the upcoming second Digicel Test, starting on Sunday at the historic Queen’s Park Oval.

The gifted left-hander was confident and in a positive frame of mind, as he prepared to play his first Test on home soil.

The 23-year-old, along with his brother Dwayne and cousin, West Indies batting legend Brian Lara are members of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club, so he will be playing at his home base.

“For me this a really special occasion to play my first Test at home,” said Bravo. “I’ve played a few Tests in other parts of the World, but for me, it is a great feeling to get the chance to play at a ground where I grew up and played most of my cricket from a very young age.

“I know the pitch and the way things happen here, so I’m quite comfortable going into the match. I got two starts in the first Test over in Barbados, so I’m looking to kick on here at home and get a major score, a big score. I believe something special is around the corner.”

Bravo made his Test debut in Sri Lanka back two Novembers ago and has been the most outstanding batsman in the team since then. Last year, he made three Test hundreds in the space of a month – in the final Test against Bangladesh at Mirpur, and the second and third Tests against India at Kolkata and Mumbai respectively.

He has now scored 1,238 runs at an average of 51.58 in 14 Test matches. He said he spoke recently to his elder brother and Lara, and they offered some wise words of advice.

“I am quietly confident that I will do well,” he said. “I am timing the ball nicely and I’m quite happy with how I am playing at the moment.

“I got some advice from my elder brother, Dwayne, and from Brian, and they told me just to make sure I assess the conditions, look to build an innings, and play to my strength. This is what has worked for me and I will continue to do what is required for the team.”

Bravo added: “Last match in Barbados, I was upset when I got out. I was disappointed when I got out. I was ‘there’, I was ‘set’, and I was trying to bat the team into a respectable position, then I followed a wide ball. It was unfortunate so I will look to correct that when I get that next opportunity.”

“We felt we gave a good account of ourselves in Barbados, but we just let it slip on that fourth day. The good thing about it is that we know what to expect. We know they will come hard at us, but we have showed everyone that we have what it takes to match them and be competitive.”

Bravo also looked sharp in the outfield and held two sharp catches at second slip off the faster bowlers during the first Digicel Test in Barbados.

“I did not do so well in the field last year, so in the off time I went away and did a lot of work on my fielding with the coaches,” he said.

“There is still some work to do, but I was happy I was able to contribute not just with the bat, but in the field. I am working hard and I want success in all areas of my game.”

Fri, 04/13/2012 - 15:24