West Indies head coach Stuart Law has said Carlos Brathwaite was left out of the squad for the upcoming ODI series against Pakistan to allow him to work on his fitness and bowling. Law also confirmed that the selectors had allowed Brathwaite to play in the IPL, which he personally believed was "a good thing".
"From [those who played] the series against England, Carlos Brathwaite has been left out. I thought the opportunity was there for Carlos to go away and work on a few aspects of his game, namely his fitness and bowling, and getting back to bowling how he wants to bowl. That's why he's been left out, and it's just coincided that the IPL is there and we have no cricket after this IPL series and he hasn't been part of the last Test series. So the selectors gave him the option of going to the IPL as well, which I think is a good thing. [He'll] get to talk to guys like [Delhi Daredevils coach] Rahul Dravid, learn how to play spin, get plenty of practice, and work on his fitness and bowling."
Despite Brathwaite's reputation as a devastating power hitter in T20 cricket, his numbers in ODI cricket have been disappointing throughout his career, both with bat and ball. In 23 ODIs, he has scored 270 runs at an average of 13.50, only once crossing 25 in an innings. In the same period, he has taken 21 wickets, averaging 47.47. In the recently concluded ODI series against England, which the West Indies lost 3-0, Brathwaite scored 12, 23 and 7 while failing to take any wickets, conceding 148 runs in the 24 overs he bowled.
Law put down the omission of the other Brathwaite in the West Indies set-up - Kraigg - to a desire to see a more positive approach in the first Powerplay during an ODI. He has been replaced by Chadwick Walton, who scored three hundreds in his last five domestic games before being called up for the four-match T20 series against Pakistan, where he accumulated 80 runs in four innings.
"We spoke to Kraigg after the last series and we've spoken to him since. We're just looking for a bit more impetus at the top of the order in the first ten-over Powerplay. We need to make a bit more use of those overs, and Kraigg's aware of that. It's not like he's never going to play for the West Indies in ODI cricket again. He's got the opportunity to return to first-class cricket and score runs which he has done, and also a good opportunity for him to get in good nick and feel comfortable about his game before the Test series starts.
"Chadwick Walton, I saw him for the first time in the flesh in the ODI series, he had an outstanding 50-over [regional] tournament. He also scored a hundred in the warm-up against England in St Kitts. So he comes in with form under his belt so I'm looking forward to seeing what he can offer in the first ten overs."
Law also lamented what he considered a failure on his side's part to play to their potential in the T20I series, stressing that they had to become more consistent.
"We underachieved during the T20 series. The second game was the one that we threw away. We got in the driver's seat, got the total down to under a run a ball and unfortunately messed that one up. The fightback began in the third game where Evin Lewis basically took the game on single-handedly. In the last one we made poor decisions in the middle order. Players have got to start performing consistently."
The three-match ODI series between West Indies and Pakistan begins on April 7, with all three games to be held in Guyana.