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April 13, 2012
Having emulated his technique, Darren Bravo has now sought to channel Brian Lara's mental approach to building a major innings against Australia. Bravo spoke with Lara ahead of the second Test between West Indies and Australia in Trinidad, after regathering confidence in his batting with a pair of starts in the Bridgetown match.
Lara and Bravo met at a reception for the West Indian and Australian teams at the home of Australia's high commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago on Friday evening. Bravo, 23, has also been in contact with his half-brother Dwayne, currently preoccupied by the IPL, and said he had been seeking further advice on how to go on from the middling scores he managed at the Kensington Oval.
Following a stretch of poor form that spanned the limited-overs matches against Australia and a regional four-day fixture for T&T against Barbados, Bravo hinted at a return to his best while compiling 51 and 32. He hopes that promise can bloom into a major contribution in his first Test match on his home ground.
"I'm quietly confident in my form at the moment, and felt good with my timing in the last two innings I've had," Bravo said at the Queen's Park Oval. "I've had some advice from Brian and my brother as well, so I'm taking it one step at a time and hopefully sooner or later something special is around the corner.
"[The advice was] just a matter of the way I go about building an innings, it's something I've been working on and hopefully I can reap the rewards in this Test match. We know what the Australians are going to come with in this Test for sure and we're going to come together as one big team and try our best, come up with the best plan, so we can execute it and come out victorious.
"We want to level the series here and make it much more exciting for the third Test in Dominica."
Bravo's second innings in Bridgetown had the potential to grow into a significant innings, holding up the tourists after they had cut their way past the hosts' top order. However, he pushed at Peter Siddle and edged a catch behind in the closing overs of day four, admonishing himself as he left the field for giving up a valuable start.
"To be quite honest that's the way the game goes," Bravo said. "One bad session or a few overs of bad cricket can cause you to lose the game, and I think that is what happened. But at the same time the guys gave a good account of themselves.
"I was very disappointed that I got out in the second innings being when I was there already set, and I was trying to get my team to a respectable total. It was unfortunate but hopefully I can do better in the next Test."
In acknowledging the pattern of the first Test was a reprise of several earlier matches against India in 2011, Bravo said his team had to remain positive and not be consumed by doubt about whether they can sustain their efforts over five days. The Queen's Park Oval pitch offers the possibility of sharp spin and variable bounce, making a result likely if Trinidad's weather is kind.
"Very important that we stay positive as much as possible," Bravo said. "We went wrong in the first Test and it is something we need to rectify as soon as possible because we don't want it to happen again. Hopefully we can come together as a team and find the best possible way to correct what happened in the first Test and get it right in this game.
"I don't know how the pitch looks at the moment, but we all know on the Oval that on the fourth and fifth day that spin is going to have a major part. This year hopefully we can set up the game in the first three days so it is much easier for us at the end."
West Indies were able to take advantage of fine morning conditions on Friday to train fully, before afternoon rain robbed the Australians of the chance to do likewise. The visitors made a brief observation of the pitch before returning to their hotel for work in the gym and the pool.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
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