West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain April 13, 2012

Darren Bravo seeks Lara's advice

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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 here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dunger.bob on April 15, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    I like Darren Bravos attitude to the whole thing. he seems team oriented which is really good when you are trying to rebuild a team I suppose. .. also, who better than Brian Lara for advice on building an innings .. if they really were his words and not just what he was "advised" to say then I think he should go well... as long as he really can bat as well. . lets see how he goes

  • RandyOZ on April 15, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    @jc - I never said I want Khawaja dropped, get your facts straight!

  • spinkingKK on April 15, 2012, 3:03 GMT

    I can't beleive the players like Narine and Dwyne Bravo are playing IPL instead of the test series. It would have made a huge difference to the outcome if Narine was in the side. West Indies team looking good. Darren Bravo really has to deliver. He is becoming a disappointment everytime there is a crunch situation or game. Hopefully he can rectify it this time. He should try to become the Lara of early days - delivering when it matters, not the Lara of later days - Delivering only in defeats and only when the series is well and truly gone.

  • yocasi on April 15, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    Dear Rishi Hemraj, u have me totally confused with the point u made regarding Darren Bravo & Shiv. Seems to me that u r accusing lil Bravo of being selfish & at the same time, u r asking him to emulate Shiv. In close to 40 yrs of following Windies cricket, I've never seen a player as selfish as Chanders. As long as he ends with an asterisk next to his score, to hell with the team. Darren will soon be in full bloom.

  • x-squire-x on April 14, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    nadeem1976 makes a valid point, sure the second innings total for the west indies was below par, but the match had alreay swung australia's way with the inability of the windie bowlers to dismiss the aussie tail quicly. with what should've been a lead of at least 110-120, windies would still have been in a good position with a second innings total of 150. an overall lead of 260+ would not have been easy to chase, in fact i'm pretty sure windies would've won with that sort of a lead.

  • on April 14, 2012, 20:43 GMT

    Lara sought Sobers' advice and went on to reclaim the WR (400 NO) shortly after. 'Tis wise to seek advice from those who could do and not just talk (Gibson?). Darren is a good batsman who can become great if nurtured properly. Will he by a man who put a teammate on probation before the big game and psychologically reduced others before the WC? I would like WICB and Gibson to do well so we can compete and win again. However, will they when they don't develop real talent like Daren and the other young ones in the squad who are not from the Windwards while insisting players like Devon Smith, who has been recycled more times than a a coke bottle, still be in their plans?

  • on April 14, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    This is crazy...Darren should not be NOW consulting with Brian Lara! He should be in contact with de man all de time, man. Maybe he does that on a regular basis, but the article is high-lighting that fact this time. It is necessary that man like Lara are involved in the transition of Windies cricket; also man like Croft, Mikey H, and Gibbs, etc, etcl. If all they are doing is giving their comments on radio/TV, then they would not be helping. They need to be there "nursing" the lads on...of course too much nursing is not good, right?

  • delboy on April 14, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    Until a player starts to be SELFISH he cannot know the importance of his part in a team. He has to think that HIS performance counts towards the greater cause. A strong or poor personal performance has an impact on the team. Bravo or any other player representing the WI; must develop the mentality of ; I will win this game, I will not get out, I can take catches etc. Armchair critics will always have their opinions as most of them have spent their lives doing that and have never been in the LINE OF FIRE so to speak. In short SELFISHNESS has its merit to all competitors, so if a coach or anyone try to tell you otherwise they are not worth listening to!

  • drewkatski on April 14, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    @Nadeem1976, oh sure, WI lost the match because of bowling only, being bowled out for less than 150 in your second innings surely won't cost you the match!

  • on April 14, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    This west indies team is known for one good inning and that's a fact,if they want to start wining matches they have to occupy the crease for much longer periods in both inning.it wasn't just a gamble that Michael Clarke declared with 43 runs in arrears.the aussie's knew the windies have no back bone and would fall for under 200.it's sad but it's true.i love the guys and hope they do well but test cricket is a 5 day game .remember that fellas.

  • dunger.bob on April 15, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    I like Darren Bravos attitude to the whole thing. he seems team oriented which is really good when you are trying to rebuild a team I suppose. .. also, who better than Brian Lara for advice on building an innings .. if they really were his words and not just what he was "advised" to say then I think he should go well... as long as he really can bat as well. . lets see how he goes

  • RandyOZ on April 15, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    @jc - I never said I want Khawaja dropped, get your facts straight!

  • spinkingKK on April 15, 2012, 3:03 GMT

    I can't beleive the players like Narine and Dwyne Bravo are playing IPL instead of the test series. It would have made a huge difference to the outcome if Narine was in the side. West Indies team looking good. Darren Bravo really has to deliver. He is becoming a disappointment everytime there is a crunch situation or game. Hopefully he can rectify it this time. He should try to become the Lara of early days - delivering when it matters, not the Lara of later days - Delivering only in defeats and only when the series is well and truly gone.

  • yocasi on April 15, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    Dear Rishi Hemraj, u have me totally confused with the point u made regarding Darren Bravo & Shiv. Seems to me that u r accusing lil Bravo of being selfish & at the same time, u r asking him to emulate Shiv. In close to 40 yrs of following Windies cricket, I've never seen a player as selfish as Chanders. As long as he ends with an asterisk next to his score, to hell with the team. Darren will soon be in full bloom.

  • x-squire-x on April 14, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    nadeem1976 makes a valid point, sure the second innings total for the west indies was below par, but the match had alreay swung australia's way with the inability of the windie bowlers to dismiss the aussie tail quicly. with what should've been a lead of at least 110-120, windies would still have been in a good position with a second innings total of 150. an overall lead of 260+ would not have been easy to chase, in fact i'm pretty sure windies would've won with that sort of a lead.

  • on April 14, 2012, 20:43 GMT

    Lara sought Sobers' advice and went on to reclaim the WR (400 NO) shortly after. 'Tis wise to seek advice from those who could do and not just talk (Gibson?). Darren is a good batsman who can become great if nurtured properly. Will he by a man who put a teammate on probation before the big game and psychologically reduced others before the WC? I would like WICB and Gibson to do well so we can compete and win again. However, will they when they don't develop real talent like Daren and the other young ones in the squad who are not from the Windwards while insisting players like Devon Smith, who has been recycled more times than a a coke bottle, still be in their plans?

  • on April 14, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    This is crazy...Darren should not be NOW consulting with Brian Lara! He should be in contact with de man all de time, man. Maybe he does that on a regular basis, but the article is high-lighting that fact this time. It is necessary that man like Lara are involved in the transition of Windies cricket; also man like Croft, Mikey H, and Gibbs, etc, etcl. If all they are doing is giving their comments on radio/TV, then they would not be helping. They need to be there "nursing" the lads on...of course too much nursing is not good, right?

  • delboy on April 14, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    Until a player starts to be SELFISH he cannot know the importance of his part in a team. He has to think that HIS performance counts towards the greater cause. A strong or poor personal performance has an impact on the team. Bravo or any other player representing the WI; must develop the mentality of ; I will win this game, I will not get out, I can take catches etc. Armchair critics will always have their opinions as most of them have spent their lives doing that and have never been in the LINE OF FIRE so to speak. In short SELFISHNESS has its merit to all competitors, so if a coach or anyone try to tell you otherwise they are not worth listening to!

  • drewkatski on April 14, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    @Nadeem1976, oh sure, WI lost the match because of bowling only, being bowled out for less than 150 in your second innings surely won't cost you the match!

  • on April 14, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    This west indies team is known for one good inning and that's a fact,if they want to start wining matches they have to occupy the crease for much longer periods in both inning.it wasn't just a gamble that Michael Clarke declared with 43 runs in arrears.the aussie's knew the windies have no back bone and would fall for under 200.it's sad but it's true.i love the guys and hope they do well but test cricket is a 5 day game .remember that fellas.

  • Sinhaya on April 14, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    Correction to my earlier comment. Sri Lanka has so far over the years beaten South Africa 5 times overal, and one of those was in South Africa last year.

  • PaddyRasta on April 14, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    @Rishi Kemraj That is nonsense. How has Bravo been playing for himself? As a 2 down batsman, if he scores big, the whole team benefits and is this not his role? And @Alexei, there have been some crazy posters who were calling for him to be dropped given poor ODI form - how wrong they are. He knows that as a batsman big 3 figure scores are expected of him. I just wish that others showed that hunger and if Lara can help him, WI need all the help they can get.

  • jmcilhinney on April 14, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    @RandyOZ, but you yourself said that Khawaja had to be axed after the NZ Tests if he didn't perform for the PM's XI, which he didn't, unless you consider 25 in a tour match in Canberra an adequate performance for a Test #3, so why is it that you now seem to think that it's so obvious that he needs to return? If dropping him was a mistake then it was your mistake as much as anyone else's, which you apparently deny.

  • crying_game on April 14, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    @Dino11, it is getting tiring to blame the IPL for all woes. In your list, Gayle's issue is well known. As for pollard, I dont think he wld be playing a test match for WI, IPL or not. Bravo was not selected even for series when there was no clashes with IPL. And it was the WICB that mucked up the issue with Narine by not having him in contract. No aussie or englishman or anyother countryman is pullng out of their test teams to play IPL. The west indies issue is their own making so stop blaming the convenient scapegoat. As for Darren Bravo, splendid player and is gonna reach great heights.

  • on April 14, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    It seems like Bravo jr always thinking of his personal game and not as a team player,he have to look at Shiv's approach to the game and build from that

  • Percy_Fender on April 14, 2012, 4:16 GMT

    WestIndian fans fail to see a future legend in their midst. Forger about these two innings. He will soon get a big big double hundred like Brian did at Sydney in the 90s. Good luck to him and good luck to the West Indies.

  • Dino11 on April 14, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    I wish same passion is shared by others, who are wasting their talent in IPL, Gayle, Pollard,Bravo, Russel, if all r in this team, surely it would have given Aussie run for their money, I am indian but hate IPL if its disturbing test cricket & country cricket. Playing for country used to be pride and IPL spoiled that mentality. Now players have become careful of that pride & playing only for money.

  • Sinhaya on April 14, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    Remember one thing Bravo and co. NZ managed to beat Australia in Australia inside 4 days in Hobart. You must be mentally tough throughout without letting lose. My team Sri Lanka has something wrong in their minds when playing test cricket against Australia to have only 1 test win ever despite winning 7 tests against England (twice in England) and 5 tests against South Africa (once in South Africa) last year. Like how Windies fought well in the ODIs and T20s after losing the first one to the Aussies, nothing can stop Windies from making a comeback. Think positively and play hard. I think Darren Sammy again cost Windies the match by dropping Watson's catch at 4 in the chase. Darren Sammy even dropped a catch by Dravid last year at Kingston. Had those catches been taken, Windies would have won both those tests!

  • RandyOZ on April 14, 2012, 2:26 GMT

    @Stefan - very well put. We have made the same mistake with Khawaja, yet hacks like Cowan are allowed to flounder at the top of the order.

  • Nadeem1976 on April 14, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    I don't understand that what is Bravo fault in losing last test match. The bowlers did not get tailenders out quickly in first australian innings. Giving away more than 200 runs to tailenders is just bad bowling.

    This guy can improve as much as he wants by taking advice but when your bowlers are not taking wickets then a batsman can do nothing.

    WI lost because of poor bowling not batting at all.

  • on April 14, 2012, 0:43 GMT

    Darren is a very good player. He has the strokes. U can get technical advice from players, but mental toughness u will need to development yourself that is personal. In building an innings u need to target certain bowlers, on your way to the first fifty. Lara was very good at that. After that he respected no man, not even GLEN(Aus). Nice to know Darren is asking questions, it's one way u learn. A good sign.

  • shawnsundar on April 14, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    @Stefan Edwards - I agree

  • Meety on April 13, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    @Stefan Edwards - well said, although I think this guy is a class above the talented Sarwan!

  • Alexei on April 13, 2012, 23:05 GMT

    Consider that a good thing, for such a young batsman to be unsatisfied with 2 starts... the hunger is obviously there. I have not heard analysts criticising him but back him to come better after a return to form

  • on April 13, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    80 runs in a Test seen as a failure? For a 23 year old averaging nigh on 53? The same millstone was placed around Sarwan's neck and look what the result was.

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  • on April 13, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    80 runs in a Test seen as a failure? For a 23 year old averaging nigh on 53? The same millstone was placed around Sarwan's neck and look what the result was.

  • Alexei on April 13, 2012, 23:05 GMT

    Consider that a good thing, for such a young batsman to be unsatisfied with 2 starts... the hunger is obviously there. I have not heard analysts criticising him but back him to come better after a return to form

  • Meety on April 13, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    @Stefan Edwards - well said, although I think this guy is a class above the talented Sarwan!

  • shawnsundar on April 14, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    @Stefan Edwards - I agree

  • on April 14, 2012, 0:43 GMT

    Darren is a very good player. He has the strokes. U can get technical advice from players, but mental toughness u will need to development yourself that is personal. In building an innings u need to target certain bowlers, on your way to the first fifty. Lara was very good at that. After that he respected no man, not even GLEN(Aus). Nice to know Darren is asking questions, it's one way u learn. A good sign.

  • Nadeem1976 on April 14, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    I don't understand that what is Bravo fault in losing last test match. The bowlers did not get tailenders out quickly in first australian innings. Giving away more than 200 runs to tailenders is just bad bowling.

    This guy can improve as much as he wants by taking advice but when your bowlers are not taking wickets then a batsman can do nothing.

    WI lost because of poor bowling not batting at all.

  • RandyOZ on April 14, 2012, 2:26 GMT

    @Stefan - very well put. We have made the same mistake with Khawaja, yet hacks like Cowan are allowed to flounder at the top of the order.

  • Sinhaya on April 14, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    Remember one thing Bravo and co. NZ managed to beat Australia in Australia inside 4 days in Hobart. You must be mentally tough throughout without letting lose. My team Sri Lanka has something wrong in their minds when playing test cricket against Australia to have only 1 test win ever despite winning 7 tests against England (twice in England) and 5 tests against South Africa (once in South Africa) last year. Like how Windies fought well in the ODIs and T20s after losing the first one to the Aussies, nothing can stop Windies from making a comeback. Think positively and play hard. I think Darren Sammy again cost Windies the match by dropping Watson's catch at 4 in the chase. Darren Sammy even dropped a catch by Dravid last year at Kingston. Had those catches been taken, Windies would have won both those tests!

  • Dino11 on April 14, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    I wish same passion is shared by others, who are wasting their talent in IPL, Gayle, Pollard,Bravo, Russel, if all r in this team, surely it would have given Aussie run for their money, I am indian but hate IPL if its disturbing test cricket & country cricket. Playing for country used to be pride and IPL spoiled that mentality. Now players have become careful of that pride & playing only for money.

  • Percy_Fender on April 14, 2012, 4:16 GMT

    WestIndian fans fail to see a future legend in their midst. Forger about these two innings. He will soon get a big big double hundred like Brian did at Sydney in the 90s. Good luck to him and good luck to the West Indies.