Caribbean Premier League 2013 August 8, 2013

'I'm growing as a captain' - Dwayne Bravo

Renaldo Matadeen

Following another Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel defeat in the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL), captain Dwayne Bravo is emphasizing that he is still maturing in his role as a captain. Bravo recently came in some flak following disappointing home series against India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, which also saw a dip in the all-rounder's form. With fans mulling over his leadership qualities, Bravo made it clear, "I'm backing myself to do well as a captain of any team I lead."

The most recent CPL loss to Jamaica Tallawahs has reignited talks over Bravo's ability to captain, as Trinidad's dismal form has been compounded by three consecutive losses. "I know fans in the region, and in Trinidad, may be questioning my ability to lead, but I ask them to bear with me. I'm growing as a captain. I see it as a learning curve and a patient process. It's not easy to adapt but I am trying. I'm confident I'm the man to do the job and I just need folks to rally around me."

In Jamaica's five-run victory, Bravo bowled the 19th over and was slaughtered by Vernon Philander and Danza Hyatt for 26, when the likes of Samuel Badree (0 for 7 in two overs) and Suliemann Benn (0 for12 in two overs) were expected to finish at the death of the innings. "I know we have good bowlers but I had good figures up until that point and I was confident as the most experienced bowler. I've been in this pressure situation many times [before] and pulled it off, but unfortunately today, it didn't work out. If we had won the game, people wouldn't be talking about the over, but we lost so it stands out more," he admitted. "I'll accept responsibility. I have to work on my bowling because it's been letting me down recently, but today I was glad to give a good batting display."

Bravo confessed that he would remain undaunted in his capacity to deliver. "80% of the fans will be for you when you're going through a rough patch. The other 20% would say otherwise, but I just need a win and some good individual performances to convince everyone otherwise.

"Everyone has ups and downs as captain - Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and even Ricky Ponting, when he lost Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne to retirement. But history doesn't remember those periods as much, it remembers they were great captains. I aspire to be that same thing," professed Bravo rather dejectedly.

The loss exacerbated a miserable start by Bravo's unit, but he ensured that he was ready to make changes, reassess and lead the right eleven out in the future. He did say that it was frustrating coming off the heels of some off-key West Indies performances of late. However, he indicated that his role as mentor to the younger players was not deterred. Nicholas Pooran, who turned in another elegant cameo against Jamaica Tallawahs, is a player he wants to groom.

"He has the ability and talent [and I] can see him become the next Kieron Pollard. I'm the captain and I would like to see Nicholas continue playing his natural game, freely and organically, and we'll guide him. This keeps him grounded and we should support players like this. He can bat both left and right-handed, and I'm urging him to show this at some point in the CPL. I'm there to encourage youngsters to give it their all.

"A captain is as good as his team. I am aiming to improve for my franchise and the West Indies. It's a dream come true to lead my country and the West Indies, ever since I was a little kid. But I wasn't groomed in my career to lead. I've been learning through playing and it's been challenging. But I'm gathering experience and I'm hoping for support from the regional fans. I know I'll win you over and bring joy to you soon."

Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean

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  • Joshua on August 8, 2013, 23:00 GMT

    With this allrounder situation on WI and the ongoing CPLt20 its gonna be interesting how the future teams are selected for each format. If the batsmen bat sensibly, i see great potential.

    The best test XI team for WI should have: 1)simmons 2)samuels 3)bravo jr 4)shiv 5)sarwan 6)ramdin 7)sammy 8)narine 9)rampaul 10)roach 11) edwards. Reserves could be Best, holder & shillingford.

    The best ODI XI would be: 1)simmons 'wk' 2)samuels 3)bravo jr 4)sarwan 5)gayle 6)pollard 7)sammy 8)narine 9)roach 10) rampaul 11)holder. Reserves could be charles, best and edwards.

    The best T20 XI would be: 1)gayle 2)simmons 'wk'3)DR smith 4)samuels 5)dj bravo 6)pollard 7)sammy 8)narine 9)roach 10) best 11)holder. Reserves could be charles, rampaul and edwards.

    Dj bravo, best and charles they need to work on their game some more. Sarwan needs one more chance. Gayle should shorter formats. Samuels can open. Fletcher and Edwards look good. Sammy has proven himself. The big hitters bat should bat higher up.

  • Michael on August 8, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    Darren Bravo ..growing as a captain ?????...does he know what... growing as a capt .means ???.......growing as a captain as I see it...means learning from past mistakes and winning a game or two in between.......NOT doing the SAME thing over and over AGAIN..and getting the SAME results !!!

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    His is not a bad captain. He just backs himself to deliver when he should look at the ability of others to deliver. He backs himself to much! Does Bravo realize his lack of ability to deliver in the death? It is costing us every game. If we won, it was still a very bad decision. So, no one would agree with him on that point. Where is the coach and management in this decision? He is doing it over and over.

  • Noel on August 8, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Maybe Bravo is growing but he is not learning. His horrible death bowling cost us the series against Pakistan and now it's costing us in the CPL. The only captain who would have given Bravo to bowl the 19th over is Bravo himself. Why, despite all the evidence, does he still feel he is a good death bowler? It seems that his motto is "lose from the front".

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Darren Sammy waited against worse odds and less support