Australia v West Indies, 3rd Test, Sydney, 1st day January 3, 2016

Brathwaite silent on struggling Samuels


The moments leading up to the run-out of Marlon Samuels © Cricket Australia/Getty Images

West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite has plenty to say about his batting, his doughty 85 on the first day of the SCG Test, his development on this tour, and the prospect of bowling on a turning Sydney pitch. He has nothing at all to say about, or for, Marlon Samuels.

In a telling interlude as Brathwaite spoke about how he has evolved as a batsman on this trip, becoming more proactive to counter Australia's bowlers rather than simply trying to wait them out, he became decidedly tight-lipped about Samuels, the run-out they were involved in, and the older man's contribution to the tour.

It may well have been a case of if you've got nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all, for Samuels has endured a wretched tour, notching a meagre 35 runs in five innings - an average of seven for those not paying attention - and earning plenty of criticism for his apparent lack of verve in the field. At the time of the run-out, which was Samuels' call, West Indies were in a decent position. After it, they subsided to 6 for 207.

"I think those things happen in cricket. I'm not sure what to say about that," Brathwaite said. "It was just a misunderstanding."

Queried further on Samuels' contribution this tour, Brathwaite clammed up. "There's not much I can say about that at the moment," he said. A further question to that effect drew a similar response from the team media manager.

What was left to discuss was an innings that impressed many, lacking only the catharsis of reaching three figures after Nathan Lyon finally found a way to confound Brathwaite's previously sure feet and sound mind. "It is a good challenge," Brathwaite said of Lyon. "I think he is bowling quite well and I just have to keep believing in my ability. They fielded well today and for me it is about trusting my defence and working towards my plan.

"It is a tour where I am learning and I just want to keep going out there and building a foundation for my team and learning in the process. On a first-day pitch that is spinning like that, once we get a score, anything about 300 will put ourselves in a good position.

"I think the spinners bowled well, it is just about trusting your defence and backing your shots and you can score. Coming from the last game, when the guys showed some improvement, it is key to keep showing that improvement and supporting one another."

As for the pitch, Brathwaite was surprised by how much deviation it offered, but was eager to see how his team might fare on it - and how he might bowl on it. "I was quite surprised, I didn't expect the first day to spin like that," he said. "I heard it can spin here but I didn't expect that.

"So as batters, once we put some runs on the board, we can put some pressure on Australia. It is important when we do bowl that we string those dots together because dots balls can build pressure and that brings wickets. I will be looking forward to [bowling]. We will just have to see what happens."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rahul on January 4, 2016, 4:33 GMT

    WI started as overwhelming underdogs and performed as per the expectations so far. But it is heartwarming to see youngsters like Brathwaite brothers, Bravo and skipper Holder standing up and putting decent performances among the shambles put up by the so called seniors. Still looks like all is not lost and there is some hope if you have young players who are willing and able to learn on one of the toughest tour of your career. On the other hand Samules, Roach and Tayler have been an epitome of poor performances on and off the field. One wonders if WI cricket had invested in few more youngsters they would have gained valuable experience and exposure on this tour. If Dwayne Bravo and Pollard can be kept out of the team then why not Samuels. He is not scoring anything and his bowling is banned by ICC. He doesnt look like he is contributing much as a senior in the side either. Lloyd, Simmons and the selectors need to make some tough decisions pretty soon.

  • Peter on January 4, 2016, 0:21 GMT

    Samuels dropped catch effort in the last test was a clear indication of his level of intent - so why is he still in the team? Something is very wrong behind the scenes methinks

  • CRIC on January 4, 2016, 0:09 GMT

    Samuels is simply not fit to wear the maroon.

  • Sam on January 3, 2016, 22:21 GMT

    Bit of a silly premise for an article, I think. He didn't trot out some boring defense for Samuels, so he must be hiding something? Maybe he just isn't used to playing the media game, yet. Back to the cricket, I think Brathwaite is good batsman and it's been nice to see him do well on his first tour to Australia. I first saw him when he made his maiden double ton against Bangladesh and he looked very solid. He is right that 300 wouldn't be a bad score on this pitch, it's just a shame that Windies aren't playing two spinners. The unfortunately injured Bishoo in tandem with Warrican would have been a fair challenge for our batsmen.

  • Bikerguy on January 3, 2016, 21:13 GMT

    It's not his job to comment on the performance of his team mates, why should he be asked to do so? What good can possibly come from answering a question about someone who hasn't contributed anything on the tour?

  • Hasa on January 3, 2016, 15:23 GMT

    I think Marlon needs to improve his moral first. Right from the outset he seems so down of his mentality. as the most senior member of this young line up he needs to put his hands up and provide such an enthusiasm which provided great Lara to hooper.yes such a way his colleagues out of squad (Dwyane and pollard) but he needs to up the tempo.

  • Gary on January 3, 2016, 14:33 GMT

    It is time for Samuels to go. He is not passionate and has not been. I would feel better bringing in a youngster and develop that person. You can't do any worse than what we are seeing now.

  • ALIENA on January 3, 2016, 13:43 GMT

    Keep believing in yourself Kraigg, continue to do the best you can and never settle for less. WI need another opening batsman with you, and gradually the team can rebuild. All the best for 2016....

  • Mark on January 3, 2016, 13:14 GMT

    Time to give Marlon the heave-ho from the test squad. Ramdin and Roach are lucky to be playing this match....I'd have loved for Dowrich and Cummins to have been given a go in this test.

  • Jonathan on January 3, 2016, 12:44 GMT

    One of my favourite young cricketers going around and certainly one of the best young openers in world cricket. Good on him for not being drawn by such tedious questions, a dead bat on and off the field it seems.

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