Pakistan v West Indies, Champions Trophy, Group B, The Oval June 6, 2013

Worth watching Bravo's West Indies

West Indies have promised to play an aggressive brand of cricket during the Champions Trophy and they are side that deserves some attention
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Dwayne Bravo said it was "never his dream" to captain his country.

Yet here he was, speaking before the press before his first ever tournament as captain. It was brutal. The West Indies press tore into him over the fact he'd been given the captaincy over Darren Sammy, the Test captain who helped win West Indies the World Twenty20 less than a year ago.

Well, they might have, had there been any West Indian reporters at the press conference.

Instead Bravo talked about how his captaincy style will be attacking and bold. "I'm very proactive, so you will see some strange field placings, you might see some strange moves, but if it does work, I look like a genius, but if it don't, then you guys are going to have a go at me."

Being that there were only five of us at the press conference, I'd say that no matter how bad Bravo's performances could be as a captain, there is a chance he could take the five down.

With West Indies winning the World T20, improving as a side and winning the last ICC tournament, you'd expect some hype, some tension, some people. Philip Spooner, the West Indies media manager, said only one West Indian was covering the tournament, Tony Cozier for the BBC. Cozier has been the voice of West Indian cricket since 1958, now this 73 year old is its entire media.

It's sad as this is a team with a real chance of winning the tournament. More importantly, this is an exciting cricket team with a good attitude. "We're going to play a brand of cricket that the world love to see us play," Bravo said. "Enjoyment, and having fun with the right attitude."

There is no doubt this is an exciting team to watch. In their midst is the coolest man in cricket, which has been said so many times it must be trademarked; another Jamaican batsman who would to be the coolest man in cricket if Chris Gayle wasn't around; the world's premier mystery bowler; a batsman who can miss-hit the ball out of any stadium in the world; one of the most skilful fasts bowlers in cricket; one of the fastest bowlers in world cricket; and the world's best Johnson Charles.

Not to mention that they have a new captain, while the old one is still in the squad. In fact, there are many. "I have a lot of captains in my team, Chris Gayle is a former captain, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Dinesh Ramdin and also Darren Sammy," Bravo said.

Then there is Bravo's promise of strange moves plus his normal aggressive nature. "I am an attacking captain by nature. I like to attack. I like to look for wickets." This is a team to watch in the tournament.

Despite it not being a life ambition, Bravo is well prepared for captaincy. At 22 he'd made Test hundreds against Warne, Pollock, McGrath and Ntini. Even at the age of 29, he's been playing international cricket for over a decade. And thanks to T20, he's one of the most travelled players in the world. The list of players he's played with is impressive.

"I've been in dressing rooms with Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Brian Lara and Stephen Fleming, so those are players and former players I have learnt a lot from. Hopefully I can be successful like them as well".

One thing Bravo has learnt from Dhoni is to trust his Chennai team-mates. Young quick bowler Jason Holder (known for a while in Barbados as Baby Bird) has been selected in this squad. He has struggled to make much of an impact in his short career so far, but the selectors clearly felt that at 6ft 8in he would be a handy addition to this squad.

Bravo has very high hopes for Holder. "We're trying to mould him to be the next Curtly Ambrose for us. It's been a while since we've seen a bowler of his size".

Holder is not as quick as some of the other bowlers, but in a side where most of the bowlers are short - "Fidel Edwards, Tino Best, Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul are maybe all five feet and under," Bravo said - Holder could be an important player.

Bravo probably meant six foot and under. But he is new to these kind of press conferences, and as he said, "This job is not an easy job."

Although, it is made considerably easier when the media pool barely takes up a row at your press conference.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Slowdeath10 on June 7, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    No matter which country one supports,it is always a pleasure to see West Indies win a tournament.I am an Indian supporter but I wouldn't be least bit disappointed if WI face India in the Finals as WI win.I'm sure many other supporters might feel the same way.I remember the joy experienced when WI won the T20 world cup last year.It was just fantastic.I wish Bravo and his team all the luck and hope they win this tournament.

  • on June 7, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    GOOD LUCK WI. Play like true champions. I like Bravos attacking philosophy. My team Gayle Charles Bravo Samuels Sarwan Bravo Pollard Ramdin Rampaul Narine and Roach. The toss up us between Sarwan/Sammy and Rampaul/Best. Sarwan in becuase Wi need batsmen who can bat 50 overs and let the more attacking batsmen do their job; Rampaul is in cuz he almost always picks up early wickets....and that can be the dangerous Hafeez. Sammy Best and Holder will be in the recokening against stronger batting lineups like Saffers and India:-)

  • Rally_Windies on June 7, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    It is easy to understand why the WI selectors left out Sammy...

    It was a toss up between Dwyane Bravo and Darren Sammy ...

    for the last 2 years Dwyane Bravo has been left out of the team for Darren Sammy ...

    and honestly, Bravo is simply better at batting bowling and fielding (in ODI) than Sammy ...

    If anything, the IPL just proved that .......

    The other thing is Pakistan's bowling strength has been talked about in the lead up to this game ...

    So Sawaran was stuck into the team .....

    If Pakistan was a superior batting team, I think Sammy would have played before Sarawan ......

    But honestly ...

    Bravo has spent 2 years on the side, mainly because Sammy had to be automatically selected since he was captain ......

    In my opinion, a batsman should be captain .. to avoid such selection dilemmas ...

    because you have 4 or 5 batsmen in any team .....

    Sammy and Bravo should compete for the role they fill on form, and captaincy should not affect who gets picked .....

  • on June 7, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    "Narine is a very effective limited-overs bowler, but other than he, only Darren Sammy has managed to keep his economy rate below 5 over the last two years. " Yet he is out of the team......can you believe it? A captain on a winning streak you breaking his spirit so? I am ok with Bravo but adding insult to injury you leaving the former captain out of the side for the first match?I could understand if after first match form is suspect but first match?I know Sammy will take it like a man but ANYONE would be hurting inside.

  • on June 7, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    WI will beat PAK with ease

  • on June 7, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    west indies needs to have Darren sammy in the team

  • Sri_Lankan_Fan on June 7, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    There is a team, where the entire world supports them when they take the field. That team is called West Indies. Go for it guys , world's behind you again.. But Please don't beat Sri Lanka :)

  • YogifromNY on June 7, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    I am a supporter of the Indian team and I LOVE this West Indian team. Exciting players who play hard but are fun-loving blokes off the field. West Indies are to cricket what Brazil is to football. Would love to see a WI-Ind final game in this CT. Best of luck, Windies!

  • on June 7, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    will we have the two chucks during CT?

  • on June 7, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    Nice article. I'll be watching tomorrow for a WI win.

  • Slowdeath10 on June 7, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    No matter which country one supports,it is always a pleasure to see West Indies win a tournament.I am an Indian supporter but I wouldn't be least bit disappointed if WI face India in the Finals as WI win.I'm sure many other supporters might feel the same way.I remember the joy experienced when WI won the T20 world cup last year.It was just fantastic.I wish Bravo and his team all the luck and hope they win this tournament.

  • on June 7, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    GOOD LUCK WI. Play like true champions. I like Bravos attacking philosophy. My team Gayle Charles Bravo Samuels Sarwan Bravo Pollard Ramdin Rampaul Narine and Roach. The toss up us between Sarwan/Sammy and Rampaul/Best. Sarwan in becuase Wi need batsmen who can bat 50 overs and let the more attacking batsmen do their job; Rampaul is in cuz he almost always picks up early wickets....and that can be the dangerous Hafeez. Sammy Best and Holder will be in the recokening against stronger batting lineups like Saffers and India:-)

  • Rally_Windies on June 7, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    It is easy to understand why the WI selectors left out Sammy...

    It was a toss up between Dwyane Bravo and Darren Sammy ...

    for the last 2 years Dwyane Bravo has been left out of the team for Darren Sammy ...

    and honestly, Bravo is simply better at batting bowling and fielding (in ODI) than Sammy ...

    If anything, the IPL just proved that .......

    The other thing is Pakistan's bowling strength has been talked about in the lead up to this game ...

    So Sawaran was stuck into the team .....

    If Pakistan was a superior batting team, I think Sammy would have played before Sarawan ......

    But honestly ...

    Bravo has spent 2 years on the side, mainly because Sammy had to be automatically selected since he was captain ......

    In my opinion, a batsman should be captain .. to avoid such selection dilemmas ...

    because you have 4 or 5 batsmen in any team .....

    Sammy and Bravo should compete for the role they fill on form, and captaincy should not affect who gets picked .....

  • on June 7, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    "Narine is a very effective limited-overs bowler, but other than he, only Darren Sammy has managed to keep his economy rate below 5 over the last two years. " Yet he is out of the team......can you believe it? A captain on a winning streak you breaking his spirit so? I am ok with Bravo but adding insult to injury you leaving the former captain out of the side for the first match?I could understand if after first match form is suspect but first match?I know Sammy will take it like a man but ANYONE would be hurting inside.

  • on June 7, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    WI will beat PAK with ease

  • on June 7, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    west indies needs to have Darren sammy in the team

  • Sri_Lankan_Fan on June 7, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    There is a team, where the entire world supports them when they take the field. That team is called West Indies. Go for it guys , world's behind you again.. But Please don't beat Sri Lanka :)

  • YogifromNY on June 7, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    I am a supporter of the Indian team and I LOVE this West Indian team. Exciting players who play hard but are fun-loving blokes off the field. West Indies are to cricket what Brazil is to football. Would love to see a WI-Ind final game in this CT. Best of luck, Windies!

  • on June 7, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    will we have the two chucks during CT?

  • on June 7, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    Nice article. I'll be watching tomorrow for a WI win.

  • on June 7, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    The new trend among Caribbean Media houses is this. They lock themselves in a room in Barbados or Jamaica with a television. Then they cover the cricket event based on what they are seeing on the TV and pretend they are there at the ground. They are not fooling me.

  • zshanto on June 6, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    Good luck man . All the best wishes to you and your team and for the first time under your leadership a international tournament West Indies will begin from tomorrow . Rest will see at ground how you Handel . As Pakistan is strong team and tournament first game for you that mean very vital game it is . Cheers

  • ball_boy on June 6, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    Now this ia side that can add glorious chapters in the history book of WI cricket

  • on June 6, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    Good luck Brao. We loved you at CSK.

  • on June 6, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    Sad that no media houses from the Caribbean choose to go across and cover the tournament. I do know that there will be massive support for the boys in Maroon not only from ex-pat West Indians but many fans of the IPL and other T20 franchises that these boys have lit up over the years. All the best Windies! I have been disappointed many times but I will forever be an eternal optimist and West Indian at heart.

  • on June 6, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    Sad that no media houses from the Caribbean choose to go across and cover the tournament. I do know that there will be massive support for the boys in Maroon not only from ex-pat West Indians but many fans of the IPL and other T20 franchises that these boys have lit up over the years. All the best Windies! I have been disappointed many times but I will forever be an eternal optimist and West Indian at heart.

  • on June 6, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    Good luck Brao. We loved you at CSK.

  • ball_boy on June 6, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    Now this ia side that can add glorious chapters in the history book of WI cricket

  • zshanto on June 6, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    Good luck man . All the best wishes to you and your team and for the first time under your leadership a international tournament West Indies will begin from tomorrow . Rest will see at ground how you Handel . As Pakistan is strong team and tournament first game for you that mean very vital game it is . Cheers

  • on June 7, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    The new trend among Caribbean Media houses is this. They lock themselves in a room in Barbados or Jamaica with a television. Then they cover the cricket event based on what they are seeing on the TV and pretend they are there at the ground. They are not fooling me.

  • on June 7, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    Nice article. I'll be watching tomorrow for a WI win.

  • on June 7, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    will we have the two chucks during CT?

  • YogifromNY on June 7, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    I am a supporter of the Indian team and I LOVE this West Indian team. Exciting players who play hard but are fun-loving blokes off the field. West Indies are to cricket what Brazil is to football. Would love to see a WI-Ind final game in this CT. Best of luck, Windies!

  • Sri_Lankan_Fan on June 7, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    There is a team, where the entire world supports them when they take the field. That team is called West Indies. Go for it guys , world's behind you again.. But Please don't beat Sri Lanka :)

  • on June 7, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    west indies needs to have Darren sammy in the team