England v West Indies, 4th Test, Chester-le-Street, 2nd day June 16, 2007

Bravo hunts out Sir Ian for advice

Dwayne Bravo spent 25 minutes with Ian Botham before making an unbeaten 43 © Getty Images
Dwayne Bravo is a shining light for West Indies - of commitment, hard work and self belief. He has played 22 Tests without savouring a win, but continues to take on any task that is thrown at him and in this series that has included keeping wicket for a few overs at Old Trafford. He is an allrounder in every sense of the word and has been picking the brains of cricket's latest knight, Sir Ian Botham, as he tries to develop his game.

On the second day at Chester-le-Street, Bravo was left in the familiar position of trying to bail his team out of trouble. He took 20 balls to get off the mark, but responded to England's pace attack with typically wristy aggression. He isn't a player to take a backward step, a trait he shares with Botham.

"We talked about the allrounder's job and how you balance the batting, the bowling, and the workload," he said. "[We talked about] the things he used to do and whether and sees anything in my game which might assist me. I must say I'm very thankful for the 25-minute chat I had with him and that he's putting some of his experience into the game."

Although it took him a while to launch his innings in tough conditions there is always a positive intent with Bravo, something he'd discussed with Botham. "He said don't let the situation of the game take away my natural style of playing, be positive at all times and enjoy my cricket at all times. Let everything else take care of itself."

Bravo actively hunted out Botham earlier in the series, keen to talk one of the greatest allrounders the game has produced. "I saw him at Manchester and approached him to ask if it would be possible to have a word with him, but didn't get an opportunity because of the situation of the game," said Bravo. "But this morning I thought was the right time, with a delayed start, and asked Imran [Khan, the media manager] if he could take me up to the media centre.

"West Indies have a lot of great players but if you get the opportunity to meet other players you have heard about growing up as a kid it's important to get as much as you can out of them. I chose Mr Botham for the simple reason that he's an allrounder and I'm looking to follow in his footsteps." Bravo will have to call Botham 'Sir' from now on, but if even part of the conversations rub off on him, West Indies will be better for it.

Andrew McGlashan is a staff writer on Cricinfo