CHENNAI : When one hears the name Carlos Brathwaite, the first image that comes to mind is of his four consecutive sixes that helped the West Indies win the 2016 WT20. Captain of the current bunch, he is keen to sign off the tour on a winning note.On Friday evening the West Indies team sweated out at Chepauk for about three hours.
They first had a round of football and then the players had long sessions at the nets. Brathwaite started with throwdowns and then played the local bowlers. “I am aware that after the World Cup show, fans expect a lot of fireworks from me. I would love to do that. That’s what I am working towards. I want to do whatever the team needs. I would love four sixes again on Sunday,’’ Brathwaite told Express, wiping beads of sweat from his face after a long practice session.
West Indies cricketers and their greats of different eras have delighted the Chennai crowd with their skills. They still have players like Kieron Pollard who can whet the appetite of fans. “A lot of legends have done well here before me and more recently Chennai Super Kings have had a lot of success over here. This is my first time in the city, first trip to this ground. Hopefully, I can make an impact on the game on Sunday. It’s a pleasure to actually be here at this ground. I am looking forward to taking part in the game,’’ said an excited Brathwaite.
After the Test and ODI losses, many expected the visitors to do well in the T20 format which many of their players relish, but that was not to be. “We have a young team and I guess we are trying to find our feet. Let’s not forget that we played against a formidable Indian team. We have a bunch of youngsters, who haven’t had much international exposure. With time they will improve,’’ opined the player born in Barbados.
Many former cricketers, including the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, believe that speedster Oshane Thomas has been one of the finds of the tour. “Yeah, he is one of the finds of the tour. He is tall, quick and strong. He is a very important player for us and we need to manage and nurture him well. You can definitely see he’s someone who has come up through a lot of hard work. He has played a couple of ODIs and T20s. Thanks to CPL for giving the opportunity (to unearth him). But definitely if managed well, he’s someone who can take us forward, maybe even in three or four months,’’ praised Brathwaite.
In the second T20 at Lucknow, a professional display by the Indian team saw the West Indies lose by 71 runs and the series. “Batting continues to let us down. We got a young group of guys and are still trying to find our best opening combination. We never got a good start in the first two games. It’s difficult to choose the perfect batting pair but we’re trying. We need to make the best decisions. Hopefully in the third game we’ll put up a better performance and come up with a win,’’ Brathwaite had said after the loss in Lucknow.
The skipper has a role to play if his team is to buck this trend on Sunday.