India v West Indies, Champions Trophy, Group B, The Oval June 11, 2013

Lara's heir falls short on flair

Darren Bravo's inspiration was Brian Lara but he played an innings that was the antithesis of his hero's career at The Oval
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When Darren Bravo was in his early teens, he watched cricket for just one man. Perhaps he still recalls the famous innings; the 153 in Bridgetown or the 400 in Antigua. As soon as Brian Lara was dismissed, Bravo would turn away. There was perhaps little else to enjoy in West Indies' cricket as their empire fell. Dreaming one day to play like his idol, Bravo went out to bat.

In the hours before he strapped on the pads, he had absorbed Lara through the television screen. The "Prince" is Bravo's first cousin, once removed, on his mother's side. Maybe he figured his blood ran blue as well.

Now 24, the languid lunge that precedes Bravo's cover drive bears the same royal air. The hands and feet glide through the crease like liquid, like Lara. Bravo lacks for a touch of majesty, but the high backlift, the chin that grazes his shoulder in his stance and the leap upon reaching a ton are all there. Only, at The Oval, against India, he played an innings that was the antithesis of his hero's career. Where Lara had waged a lone, lionhearted war while a once-great side withered beside him, Bravo's knock robbed West Indies of their early momentum, and amplified the burden on the surrounding batsmen.

Upon arrival at the beginning of the sixth over, Bravo blocked a few, then glanced a four. Nothing was awry yet and Johnson Charles soon began his surge, hiding to some extent, the pedestrian strike rate Bravo nursed. Spin came into the attack and Bravo's plight worsened. Having made only 18 from 38, he dead-batted Ravindra Jadeja's first over, though there was no alarming turn or exceptional skill on the bowler's part. After Jadeja removed Charles, next over, Bravo made no move to assume the responsibility for run-scoring, 46-balls old at the crease though he was at the time. His innings grew more laboured still.

R Ashwin bowled another maiden against him, after Marlon Samuels and Ramnaresh Sarwan had floundered and fallen at the other end. Having gone at over five runs an over in the first 20 overs, West Indies managed only 25 in the next 10. Finally resolving to attack, Bravo skipped down the track to Ashwin in the 34th over, only to change his mind midway, and find himself comprehensively beaten and stumped. There were many occasions during his 83-ball stay that Bravo might have seized the initiative but instead he oversaw a meandering middle-overs effort that made the task of achieving a par score nearly impossible.

How differently Lara might have handled it. Unconquered by the two best spin bowlers to ever play the game, he relished attack, and planned never to let a bowler settle when they began against him. Bravo is proficient against slow bowling, and it is unfair to expect him to replicate the success of the brightest raw batting talent of the last 30 years but, though he has mined Lara footage to recreate his idol's style, there are vital lessons on substance yet to be gleaned.

"This innings to me was one of Darren's worst innings," Dwayne Bravo, West Indies' captain, said. "We're aware of it and we've already spoken to him. Batting on top of the order, we expect a bit more from him, but at the same time, while he stayed in there, we kept losing wickets. So it also makes his job a lot more difficult."

"But it's all in the experience with him. He's young, and he's one of our better batters, and once we show a little faith in him and try to let him know where he went wrong, he can improve. Definitely it will do good for him and for us as a team once we can get him scoring runs and turning over the strike a bit more. Like I said, it's a learning curve."

Dwayne Bravo's point about rotating the strike is a crucial one. The West Indies batting order carries artillery at the top and furious finishers lower down but, in between, they are short of an engine room. Of the 300 legal deliveries West Indies faced today, a staggering 194 were dot balls. In Tests Darren Bravo has displayed the aptitude to become the link man, whose graft glues the innings together, but in ODIs, the gear in between stonewall and sprint has eluded him.

A score of 260 or 270 might have made for a different result, Dwayne Bravo reflected, but perhaps the strength of India's batting in this tournament would have made easy work of any total on the lighter side of 300. West Indies now enter a shootout with South Africa for the second semi-final berth in their group. If Darren Bravo can imbibe a little more of Lara before that encounter, perhaps the West Indies cannonade will have a sturdier base from which to launch.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 11, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    I don't think anyone is going to come out well in a comparison against Brian Lara ! Darren Bravo is a decent young player and has already made a promising start to his career (granted more in tests than ODI's) and an area where he can make progress is definitely with this strike-rate but he certainly has the shots and technique to be successful in ODI's. I remember an innings against India in Jamaica (I think) in 2011 where he smashed it to all parts and got an 80-odd at a 100 %+ strike-rate so the potential is already there. Plus, in both warm-up games vs Australia and Sri Lanka he had two fifty plus scores with acceptable strike-rates so I don't feel today's innings is representative of his overall approach and form in ODI's. West Indies have more than enough dasher's so a player like Darren Bravo trying to build an innings and bat through the overs works when the big-hitters fire. Darren Bravo is a talent and can improve but he is definitely worth persevering and persisting with.

  • on June 11, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    I wont stop saying this. Darren Bravo is a good player but he is limited in his range of strokes. My problem with Darren is that he does nothing with the ball that is pitched on middle stump. He simply blocks it down the wicket and seems incapable of working those deliveries through mid wicket or inside out over mid off and cover. By doing this he takes 20 - 30 runs off his ODI scores and even more off his test scores. His coaches need to look at the footage and ask him to work on this deficit in the nets as it is not enough to simply play forward defensive to these deliveries. He gets to the pitch well but doesn't open up when he gets there which suggests a sheltered range of strokes. Darren must work on this area of his game and realize that the crease simply is not the line upon where he marks his guard but it includes the entire 4ft 4inches.

    (sylvan)

  • on June 12, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    very well written article.....its the truth...he is a poor comparison to lara even at his best.... just look at his horrid odi career..he can become good though......people are now saying you shouldnt compare him the brian......but when he made two test centuries...people where saying he is the next lara...that shoud never have been said....

  • Khali_Singh on June 12, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    Why everyone is on Sarwan's case he is a no 3 batsman and an experience one as well why not send him in in his usual position or open with him like against Zimbabwe. Also what has the pollards gayle bravos ramdin samuels done. Its a team game and no one person should be blame so get off sarwan's case and focus on the real problem putting performance together

  • on June 12, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    I still say bring back Shiv who can rotate the strike very well and still have the ability to put away the bad balls. Surely eh can't do worse than Sarwan? Also why not use Pollard at the top of the order where the can play himself in and then have time to go after the bowling? Maybe its also time to give Darren a rest and bring in Dwayne Smith who also offers an additional bowling option.

  • on June 12, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    So far Bravo has found the majority of his success in the sub-continent, anywhere else he has struggled for consistancy. He's got the ability and talent to go far, but his temperament and shot-selection, as well as adjusting to conditions out of his comfort zone, he's been found wanting. For a guy that bats no.3 in ODIs and no.4 in Tests, he's not delivering on his potential. But I believe that will change with experience, it's just a matter of how much patience the selectors will have with him.

  • kentjones on June 12, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    The primary problem with WI is their lack of discipline and thus failure to stick to their strategy. Yes I am certain that Gibson and Co would have worked out a strategy for each game and against each opponent. Yet time and time again one witnesses both batters and bowlers unable to take charge of situations as the game progresses and as things change. How can batters just give away their wickets at attempted rash shots? How can bowlers repeatedly bowl short and wide? Until WI can recognise that a game is won by consistent well though out and executed action, driven by disciplines performance, WI will continue to possess an ordinary record in ODI and test. Yes occasionally on a good day they will blow out any opposition with brilliant batting, bowling and even fielding, but without consistent performances, borne out of disciplined activity on the field of play, those good days will be intermittent, sporadic and occasionally achieved.

  • Akoben on June 12, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    Darren Bravo had a 'bad day at the office', it was as simple as that. He has taken on better bowling attacks and come good, so shake it off Bravo, and next game get YOUR GAME ON!! Now, my bigger issue is why are WI playing Sarwan, who is clearly out of form, instead of Dwayne Smith, or Darren Sammy, who showed the type of player he is once again (I am sure the Sammy haters will comment). We have enough batsmen to score 300 (Gayle, Charles, DM Bravo, Samuels, DJ Bravo, Pollard), so it does not require another one. With Ramdin (naughty boy) in then Narine, Rampaul and Roach you can include the 'missing' part of the artillery, and that is the extra fast bowler (Best, get ready). As the game against India showed, you can drop Ramdin and include Sammy for the extra batting/bowling option. So for the game against SA - Gayle, Charles, DM Bravo, Samuels, Pollard, DJ Bravo, Sammy, Narine, Rampaul, Best, Roach. No more percentage cricket, we go for de jugular!!

  • on June 12, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Bravo need improvememt to find the gaps and rotating the strike. It is of no use to keep on blocking the balls.

  • dstriker2987 on June 12, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    i wait to see what becomes of young bravo. when sarwan batted at such a slack strike rate in the world cup he was dropped from west indies squad. i have been saying it for a while young bravo is not as good a player as people make him out to be. i think the way he batted made the world of difference to the eventual west indian total soaking up so many balls because west indies did not run out of wickets at the end they ran out of balls. with sammy batting the way he did another 15-20 balls would have made west indies score that much more competetive,

  • on June 11, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    I don't think anyone is going to come out well in a comparison against Brian Lara ! Darren Bravo is a decent young player and has already made a promising start to his career (granted more in tests than ODI's) and an area where he can make progress is definitely with this strike-rate but he certainly has the shots and technique to be successful in ODI's. I remember an innings against India in Jamaica (I think) in 2011 where he smashed it to all parts and got an 80-odd at a 100 %+ strike-rate so the potential is already there. Plus, in both warm-up games vs Australia and Sri Lanka he had two fifty plus scores with acceptable strike-rates so I don't feel today's innings is representative of his overall approach and form in ODI's. West Indies have more than enough dasher's so a player like Darren Bravo trying to build an innings and bat through the overs works when the big-hitters fire. Darren Bravo is a talent and can improve but he is definitely worth persevering and persisting with.

  • on June 11, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    I wont stop saying this. Darren Bravo is a good player but he is limited in his range of strokes. My problem with Darren is that he does nothing with the ball that is pitched on middle stump. He simply blocks it down the wicket and seems incapable of working those deliveries through mid wicket or inside out over mid off and cover. By doing this he takes 20 - 30 runs off his ODI scores and even more off his test scores. His coaches need to look at the footage and ask him to work on this deficit in the nets as it is not enough to simply play forward defensive to these deliveries. He gets to the pitch well but doesn't open up when he gets there which suggests a sheltered range of strokes. Darren must work on this area of his game and realize that the crease simply is not the line upon where he marks his guard but it includes the entire 4ft 4inches.

    (sylvan)

  • on June 12, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    very well written article.....its the truth...he is a poor comparison to lara even at his best.... just look at his horrid odi career..he can become good though......people are now saying you shouldnt compare him the brian......but when he made two test centuries...people where saying he is the next lara...that shoud never have been said....

  • Khali_Singh on June 12, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    Why everyone is on Sarwan's case he is a no 3 batsman and an experience one as well why not send him in in his usual position or open with him like against Zimbabwe. Also what has the pollards gayle bravos ramdin samuels done. Its a team game and no one person should be blame so get off sarwan's case and focus on the real problem putting performance together

  • on June 12, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    I still say bring back Shiv who can rotate the strike very well and still have the ability to put away the bad balls. Surely eh can't do worse than Sarwan? Also why not use Pollard at the top of the order where the can play himself in and then have time to go after the bowling? Maybe its also time to give Darren a rest and bring in Dwayne Smith who also offers an additional bowling option.

  • on June 12, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    So far Bravo has found the majority of his success in the sub-continent, anywhere else he has struggled for consistancy. He's got the ability and talent to go far, but his temperament and shot-selection, as well as adjusting to conditions out of his comfort zone, he's been found wanting. For a guy that bats no.3 in ODIs and no.4 in Tests, he's not delivering on his potential. But I believe that will change with experience, it's just a matter of how much patience the selectors will have with him.

  • kentjones on June 12, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    The primary problem with WI is their lack of discipline and thus failure to stick to their strategy. Yes I am certain that Gibson and Co would have worked out a strategy for each game and against each opponent. Yet time and time again one witnesses both batters and bowlers unable to take charge of situations as the game progresses and as things change. How can batters just give away their wickets at attempted rash shots? How can bowlers repeatedly bowl short and wide? Until WI can recognise that a game is won by consistent well though out and executed action, driven by disciplines performance, WI will continue to possess an ordinary record in ODI and test. Yes occasionally on a good day they will blow out any opposition with brilliant batting, bowling and even fielding, but without consistent performances, borne out of disciplined activity on the field of play, those good days will be intermittent, sporadic and occasionally achieved.

  • Akoben on June 12, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    Darren Bravo had a 'bad day at the office', it was as simple as that. He has taken on better bowling attacks and come good, so shake it off Bravo, and next game get YOUR GAME ON!! Now, my bigger issue is why are WI playing Sarwan, who is clearly out of form, instead of Dwayne Smith, or Darren Sammy, who showed the type of player he is once again (I am sure the Sammy haters will comment). We have enough batsmen to score 300 (Gayle, Charles, DM Bravo, Samuels, DJ Bravo, Pollard), so it does not require another one. With Ramdin (naughty boy) in then Narine, Rampaul and Roach you can include the 'missing' part of the artillery, and that is the extra fast bowler (Best, get ready). As the game against India showed, you can drop Ramdin and include Sammy for the extra batting/bowling option. So for the game against SA - Gayle, Charles, DM Bravo, Samuels, Pollard, DJ Bravo, Sammy, Narine, Rampaul, Best, Roach. No more percentage cricket, we go for de jugular!!

  • on June 12, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Bravo need improvememt to find the gaps and rotating the strike. It is of no use to keep on blocking the balls.

  • dstriker2987 on June 12, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    i wait to see what becomes of young bravo. when sarwan batted at such a slack strike rate in the world cup he was dropped from west indies squad. i have been saying it for a while young bravo is not as good a player as people make him out to be. i think the way he batted made the world of difference to the eventual west indian total soaking up so many balls because west indies did not run out of wickets at the end they ran out of balls. with sammy batting the way he did another 15-20 balls would have made west indies score that much more competetive,

  • stormy16 on June 12, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    I dont think this is a fair comment on Bravo or Lara! Firstly Bravo is not alone - Whole Pakistan batting, Mathews, Sanga appear to be playing the waiting game in Eng presumably due to the two new balls and the idea of having wickers in hand to take advantage of the new field restrictions.

  • CricketLibrary on June 12, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    West Indies failure in this match and potentially others lies in their team selection policy. It has long been established that on any decent wicket where there are fast men operating Batsmen from the sub-continent are very circumspect. The Oval is a well-known hunting ground for the men from the West Indies. Why have they decided to omit Tino Best from the starting XI beggar belief. Likewise, why do they persist with Sarwan over Dwayne Smith is yet another detrimental decision. Dwayne Smith got an IPL contract and not Sarwan for very good reason. Take nothing away from the Indian Batsmen, they batted splendedly as would I, if served up with long-hops, short-wide stuff or half-volleys.

    T20 cricket and ODIs are not too dissimilar. Infact, one could go as far as to say that ODI is T20 played over 2 halves. Why therefore can't someone like Darren Bravo adapt to the change at his age is beyond me. Sammy did little fuss.

    I agree in full with the sentiment echoed by Muski.

  • yocasi on June 12, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Windies can't do any worse than Sarwan, can we?

  • Sector_Clear on June 12, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks I hope SL are also performing so poorly, so that they don't even fall in a competition with India in the Semis, and their IPL contracts remain intact :P

  • on June 12, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    Darren Bravo doesnt deserve a place in the west indian batting line up - nor does ramnaresh sarwan for that matter - Shivanarine Chanderpaul and kevon cooper / or dinesh Ramdin would be much better inclusions to the team - Having said that matches against India nowadays should not be the judging criterion as players seem to be under performing to keep thier lucrative IPL careers safe

  • SNIFFLEATHER on June 12, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    I am far more concerned with the continued inclusion of players in recent times who are well past their best - such as Sarwan, Fidel Edwards etc, than the performance of DB Bravo. He is a fine young player, unlikely to match the feats of the great BC Lara, but a good player in his own right - with plenty of years to improve.

  • on June 12, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    I think he has more similarities with Rahul Dravid than Brian Lara. Dravid wasn't that good a one day batsman initially but he worked hard at it. Maybe Bravo needs to do what Dravid did.

  • on June 12, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    He isnt a good player against the wrist spinners, he cant pick the wrong ones or the doosras. But a better player against the fast bowlers well, & he is going to do well against South Africa as they lack a quality spinner.

  • sramesh_74 on June 12, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    What is Ramnaresh Sarwan doing in this team?? He is so very slow on his feet and his reflexes seem to have deserted him. It is quite obvious he is past his 'sell-by' date. WI would do well to invest in a under-19 talent.

  • BrianCharlesVivek on June 12, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    This is too much of a criticism on a young player. When wickets were falling at the other end, anyone would do it . He s so much Larasque, but still needs to learn the art of putting the easy/bad balls away. Much of the criticism should go to Samuels, Sarwan as well who also should have scored.

  • muski on June 12, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    Darren looked like Navjot Singh Sindhu- the strokeless wonder. Its an insult for Lara to have his name associated with Blokes like this. At 24, he should be in the prime of his batting career. Instead he looks like a man lost in an uninhabited island. With the advent of T20, a run a ball strike rate in ODI's looks easy and any bloke with a ridiculous strike rate in the 70's has no place in the team.

  • Addicted4444 on June 12, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    It isn't Bravo's fault the team was collapsing at the other end. If he hadn't stuck around, WI would have a higher run rate but less runs coz they would have been all out before the 40th over.

  • RockcityGuy on June 12, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    I think it's really unfair to make statements like these on a young player with undoubted potential. I am a 100% sure Lara would have batted through many such torrid innings' in the cpurse of his fabulous career. He did not go out and score a 400 or even a 50 every time he went out to bat. No one does, not even the Don.

  • prashnottz on June 12, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    Cannot agree at all with the tone of the article. Firstly it is trying to compare a proven genius and legend like Lara to a starter like Bravo. Poor chap, lend him a rope here. Secondly, it berates Bravo's effort by stating Lara wouldn't have done so. Wrong. I can dig many instances where Lara's slow-go cost Windies the match. Listed below are three such instances: 1. WC 03 match vs SL - Lara made 1(22) chasing a modest total of 228, WI lost by just 6 runs 2. 2nd Carlton United final 2006/07 vs Pakistan. Chasing 169 to win, WI continued to lose wickets in a heap. Lara did nothing to add to the momentum and ended up scoring 19 off 59 balls. WI lost by 50 odd runs. 3. 5th ODI of the 2002 series vs Ind, in the crucial game, chasing 260, Lara's 69 ball 36 did nothing to help the chase and WI ended up losing the game by over 60 runs This is not an attempt to denigrate Lara, that would be a futile exercise. Instead it is a prayer to stop looking through the colored glass at a past legend.

  • Riddymon on June 12, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    In all fairness, I don't think Darren Bravo fashions himself after Lara. People have thrust this comparison on him because he bats left-handed, kinda looks like Lara and has a similar style. Let's not take away from from the Indian side though..their fielding was nothing short of AMAZING. Between Jadeja, Raina and Kohli alone...they saved at least 8-10 boundaries. let's not forget that this is the same man who has already racked up two half centuries in his previous three games. This guy is still young and nowhere near the prime of his career..give him time. At least he hasn't permanently fallen out of form like other young hopefuls (when's the last time you saw adrian barath/kirk edwards playing for Windies).

  • everfaithful77 on June 12, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    I agree with writer and comments thus far. Darren really struggled today and it looked really awful at times. I think he played 48 dot balls out of 83. That's 8 overs from which not even 1 run was scored. This is unacceptable for a # 3 batsman or any batsman in limited overs cricket. Darren must learn to work the ball into gaps by simply using his wrists as he prods forward especially to the spinners. If there's one area he needs to emulate from the great LARA is the ability to play the ball into gaps in the field on a consistent basis even when driving. Too often I've seen Bravo striking the ball sweetly but straight to fielders and this brings a grimace to his face. However we've seen enough brilliance from Bravo during his short career to believe that he can overcome these issues with his game currently. Today I didn't see a confident Bravo and that to me is more worrying. We've not seen the high level of CONFIDENCE which produced 3 centuries against India & Bang for quite sometime.

  • sundarb on June 12, 2013, 0:36 GMT

    "Darren Bravo's inspiration was Brian Lara but he played an innings that was the antithesis of his hero's career at The Oval" => Classic Association Fallacy. Just because a player is inspired by Brian Lara does not mean that he will end up playing like Brian Lara. Not only do West Indies need some stability in the batting line-up (which was somewhat corrected by Sammy's cameo), they need control on their line and lengths from the bowlers. You can't give width to any batsman at the highest level and expect them to leave the ball alone. They will whack it and punish it and Windies paid the price for poor bowling. Lara is once-in-a-generation player and this kind of comparison could dent Darren's confidence than buoying him up.

  • darren_1146 on June 12, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    Brian was one of a kind to say the least...a true genious. Darren can bat, there's no doubt about it, but he is not Brian. He needs to carve his own niche. Perhaps fashioning himself after Brian might have come with a disadvantage...he will forever have to cope with the comparisons. Added to that, he will soon enough have a greater burden placed on his shoulders in Test Cricket. Gayle, Samuels, Chanderpaul are all in their 30's and may not be around in 7 years or so. Once Darren fully understands this, we will all see the class player he can be.

  • on June 12, 2013, 0:05 GMT

    I think the author is being very slack. West indies lost 4 wickets while he was at the other end. The run rate was expected to be drop. And plus, even lara didn't set the world on fire in his early ODI's. Give him time. Maybe let him open.

  • on June 11, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    The problem Darren Bravo has is that he plays to the score too much. By this I mean he becomes very defense if the WI is in trouble and get himself into a rut that he seems unable, on most occasions, to get out of. Darren is a magnificent driver of the ball off either foot, especially in the area between backward point and extra cover. He needs to play his natural game and not be so mindful of the score!! I have watched Darren play many splendid innings for the WI over his relatively short career and expect him to play many more great innings over the next 10 to 12 years. He is not just the best young batsman in the WI (this innings not withstanding) but along with Virat Kohli, they are the two best batsmen in the world under 25 years of age. As his brother said, he was spoken to and I expect Darren to produce a much effort in the next match.

  • cabinet96 on June 11, 2013, 22:27 GMT

    What's he doing in the ODI side for a tournament like this. He's 24 as well now, not a kid. Striking at below 70 is frankly shocking, and makes the heavily criticised Trott look like KP.

  • cabinet96 on June 11, 2013, 22:27 GMT

    What's he doing in the ODI side for a tournament like this. He's 24 as well now, not a kid. Striking at below 70 is frankly shocking, and makes the heavily criticised Trott look like KP.

  • on June 11, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    The problem Darren Bravo has is that he plays to the score too much. By this I mean he becomes very defense if the WI is in trouble and get himself into a rut that he seems unable, on most occasions, to get out of. Darren is a magnificent driver of the ball off either foot, especially in the area between backward point and extra cover. He needs to play his natural game and not be so mindful of the score!! I have watched Darren play many splendid innings for the WI over his relatively short career and expect him to play many more great innings over the next 10 to 12 years. He is not just the best young batsman in the WI (this innings not withstanding) but along with Virat Kohli, they are the two best batsmen in the world under 25 years of age. As his brother said, he was spoken to and I expect Darren to produce a much effort in the next match.

  • on June 12, 2013, 0:05 GMT

    I think the author is being very slack. West indies lost 4 wickets while he was at the other end. The run rate was expected to be drop. And plus, even lara didn't set the world on fire in his early ODI's. Give him time. Maybe let him open.

  • darren_1146 on June 12, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    Brian was one of a kind to say the least...a true genious. Darren can bat, there's no doubt about it, but he is not Brian. He needs to carve his own niche. Perhaps fashioning himself after Brian might have come with a disadvantage...he will forever have to cope with the comparisons. Added to that, he will soon enough have a greater burden placed on his shoulders in Test Cricket. Gayle, Samuels, Chanderpaul are all in their 30's and may not be around in 7 years or so. Once Darren fully understands this, we will all see the class player he can be.

  • sundarb on June 12, 2013, 0:36 GMT

    "Darren Bravo's inspiration was Brian Lara but he played an innings that was the antithesis of his hero's career at The Oval" => Classic Association Fallacy. Just because a player is inspired by Brian Lara does not mean that he will end up playing like Brian Lara. Not only do West Indies need some stability in the batting line-up (which was somewhat corrected by Sammy's cameo), they need control on their line and lengths from the bowlers. You can't give width to any batsman at the highest level and expect them to leave the ball alone. They will whack it and punish it and Windies paid the price for poor bowling. Lara is once-in-a-generation player and this kind of comparison could dent Darren's confidence than buoying him up.

  • everfaithful77 on June 12, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    I agree with writer and comments thus far. Darren really struggled today and it looked really awful at times. I think he played 48 dot balls out of 83. That's 8 overs from which not even 1 run was scored. This is unacceptable for a # 3 batsman or any batsman in limited overs cricket. Darren must learn to work the ball into gaps by simply using his wrists as he prods forward especially to the spinners. If there's one area he needs to emulate from the great LARA is the ability to play the ball into gaps in the field on a consistent basis even when driving. Too often I've seen Bravo striking the ball sweetly but straight to fielders and this brings a grimace to his face. However we've seen enough brilliance from Bravo during his short career to believe that he can overcome these issues with his game currently. Today I didn't see a confident Bravo and that to me is more worrying. We've not seen the high level of CONFIDENCE which produced 3 centuries against India & Bang for quite sometime.

  • Riddymon on June 12, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    In all fairness, I don't think Darren Bravo fashions himself after Lara. People have thrust this comparison on him because he bats left-handed, kinda looks like Lara and has a similar style. Let's not take away from from the Indian side though..their fielding was nothing short of AMAZING. Between Jadeja, Raina and Kohli alone...they saved at least 8-10 boundaries. let's not forget that this is the same man who has already racked up two half centuries in his previous three games. This guy is still young and nowhere near the prime of his career..give him time. At least he hasn't permanently fallen out of form like other young hopefuls (when's the last time you saw adrian barath/kirk edwards playing for Windies).

  • prashnottz on June 12, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    Cannot agree at all with the tone of the article. Firstly it is trying to compare a proven genius and legend like Lara to a starter like Bravo. Poor chap, lend him a rope here. Secondly, it berates Bravo's effort by stating Lara wouldn't have done so. Wrong. I can dig many instances where Lara's slow-go cost Windies the match. Listed below are three such instances: 1. WC 03 match vs SL - Lara made 1(22) chasing a modest total of 228, WI lost by just 6 runs 2. 2nd Carlton United final 2006/07 vs Pakistan. Chasing 169 to win, WI continued to lose wickets in a heap. Lara did nothing to add to the momentum and ended up scoring 19 off 59 balls. WI lost by 50 odd runs. 3. 5th ODI of the 2002 series vs Ind, in the crucial game, chasing 260, Lara's 69 ball 36 did nothing to help the chase and WI ended up losing the game by over 60 runs This is not an attempt to denigrate Lara, that would be a futile exercise. Instead it is a prayer to stop looking through the colored glass at a past legend.

  • RockcityGuy on June 12, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    I think it's really unfair to make statements like these on a young player with undoubted potential. I am a 100% sure Lara would have batted through many such torrid innings' in the cpurse of his fabulous career. He did not go out and score a 400 or even a 50 every time he went out to bat. No one does, not even the Don.

  • Addicted4444 on June 12, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    It isn't Bravo's fault the team was collapsing at the other end. If he hadn't stuck around, WI would have a higher run rate but less runs coz they would have been all out before the 40th over.