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West Indies have promised to play an aggressive brand of cricket during the Champions Trophy and they are side that deserves some attention
Jarrod Kimber at The Oval
June 6, 2013
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.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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