West Indies v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, 2nd day June 17, 2014

Darren Bravo credits Lara for inputs

ESPNcricinfo staff

'Lead of 200 will put us in a position to win' - Brathwaite

Darren Bravo, who scored his first Test century in the Caribbean, credited Brian Lara for his inputs before the game. Bravo's sixth Test hundred, along with a maiden century from opener Kraigg Brathwaite helped West Indies take an 89-run lead over New Zealand on the second day of the Trinidad Test. The pair also added 182 runs for the fourth wicket, the third-highest stand for West Indies in home Tests in the last five years.

"Before the start of the Test match, I had a good chat with my brother and before the start of the game, Lara came to give [Jermaine] Blackwood his cap and he had a 10-minute chat with me, gave me some sort of advice," Bravo said.

"He just told me that it's very important that I concentrate as much as possible. He had been looking at me bat for quite some time and he believed my concentration tended to lack a little bit. He told me that whenever I get past 30, my average tends to be in the high 70s and stuff. All he was trying to say was that whenever you get a start, it's very important to carry on. I listen to him, whenever he gives me advice, I really look into the information deeply. It is a great feeling and I want to thank him very, very much."

Prior to this Test, Bravo had four fifties in 11 home games and the batsman said he was happy to reach the landmark in front of his family and home crowd.

"It's something I had in the back of my mind before the start of the series That is probably the more special hundred, more so in front of your family. It was a great feeling. I am happy that myself and Brathwaite, we were able to put the team in a good position. Hopefully, when we come tomorrow, the guys can capitalise on the start we got. I am keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well for West Indies tomorrow."

The platform for the century stand between Bravo and Brathwaite had been set by an earlier partnership of 93 between Brathwaite and Kirk Edwards. Edwards took on the New Zealand spin bowlers, smacking three sixes off Mark Craig on his way to a 55-ball half-century. Bravo said that Edwards' approach had given him confidence that he could play through the line and attack the spinners. Bravo started off with a brace of fours against legspinner Ish Sodhi and then struck the bowler for three sixes within nine deliveries during his 109.

"To be honest, I back myself against spin. I know exactly when the ball is in my area, I am able to execute my shots properly," Bravo said. "I just back myself. I thought Kirk Edwards gave me that confidence that it's easy to play through the line on that sort of wicket and I just went in and backed myself towards the spin."

Brathwaite, who scored his maiden Test hundred, said he was pleased to carry on his form from the game between Sagicor High Performance Centre and Bangladesh A, in which he had struck 164. Brathwaite's hundred was the first century at Queen's Park Oval after five years and the opener, who replaced Kieran Powell, said he was focused on providing the team with a solid start after the batting failures in the Jamaica Test.

"We lost the first game, the batters didn't do well. So obviously coming in as opener, my job was to just give it a foundation and then eventually go on and get a big score," Brathwaite said. "The ball was doing a lot, especially early, I wanted to get through that period, as it becomes a lot easier, and stay positive all the time. In team meetings, we said we wanted to get 100-run partnerships and 50-run partnerships and we did it today."

Brathwaite, who admitted to some nerves while approaching his hundred, said West Indies would target a lead of more than 200 runs to strengthen their chances of winning the second Test and drawing level with New Zealand.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Donna on June 18, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    @ Karuna Prakash, Only time will tell if your rating is worth anything. And just for the record - ALL batsmen including Root and Williamson have technical flaws, Eventually bowlers will find them out as they play more and more international cricket and the runs will dry up. Then the batsman must find a way to counteract the bowlers strategies and so on and so on. The more threatening a batsman appears to be, the more teams focus on him. I believe the Lara comparisons caused teams to zoom in on Bravo and knock him out. If he works as hard as Lara did I'm sure he will overcome. Also, he must stop trying to manufacture shots and play the ball on its merit as befits test cricket. Still, it is a West Indian trait to be more attacking than Englishmen and New Zealanders and that can lead to far more exciting cricket if tempered with common sense (which hasn't been common for ages). That's why even Ian Chappell believes that only a strong Windies can save test cricket from extinction

  • Ali on June 18, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    everyone blames the 1st test loss on the "batters" ...

    but no one blames the "bowlers" who had an equally bad game ....

    The one extra pace bowler made a HUGE difference in the attack. This is where cricket knowledge and experience comes in. On Paper, you can't tell the influence that 3rd pacer had on the NZ batting. His stats were not that great.

    But this is HOW your bowling unit is SUPPOSED to work.. 3 pacers, and 1 spinner. The spinner's job is to dry up runs and bowl more overs than his pacers so that the 3 pacers can attack, attack, attack ....

    You don't need 2 spinners unless you have genuine attacking spinners. Wickets from spin bowlers are usually a "boon" ...

    Sadly, Narine is the ONLY genuine attacking spinner in the Caribbean ... Benn is prob next in line ..

    All other spinners are just guys who bowl a tight line with some movement and variation, waiting on batsmen to make mistakes

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    Why we can't have a WI legend at every level of cricket in the Caribbean. Hear a ten minute talk from batting legend Lara inspired lil Bravo

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    The guy who said Bravo needs to separate himself from Lara. Look man, is that really realistic. Comparisons will always be made. They are cousins for heaven's sake. All Bravo needs to do is concentrate on his game and bat the best he can but to try to distance himself from Lara is an unrealistic expectation. He can't change the way he plays shots, he can't decide he won't talk to Lara again and won't listen to Lara. He can't change that Lara is his cousin so he can't separate himself from him. And all everyone says is how he reminds them of Lara. No one has said he is as good or needs to live up to Lara's standard. Well done Bravo. Continue to improve.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    Bravo is way behind Lara...the comparison very early in career did more harm than good. The position so far in this Test is in West Indies favour seems there will be 1-1 position at the end of this Test.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    Kraiig Brathwaite was destined in many ways to succeed. He made the WI test squad at 16 when the players were on strike and made his FC debut the same year at 16 years old. He has so many hundred in local cricket that its almost impossible to remember them all ..I think this test ton must be his 75th hundred in all forms of cricket from Primary schools to test level. He made his test debut at 18 and now at 21 has a test ton. I figured he batted too long to get runs against quality attacks but i guess i was wrong. No one here has dominated in all forms of the game in terms of runs scoring as he has.. when he was 17 he was making hundreds against visiting A teams for the WI A. He is a run machine. Every saturday in local cricket he seems to get a hundred.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    brathwaite innings is very good and windies opener scoring ton in tests is surprise and he is gritty gives importance to his wicket,bravo is flashy and his technical flaws showed again after the ton struggled against Craig,Williamson i rate joe root,williamson better talent thn bravo!!

  • Dennis on June 18, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    I understand that Lara is his mentor and role model but I'm hoping that he will find a way to separate himself from this Lara mould that everyone (including himself) is boxing him into. Regardless of the similarities..he is not BC Lara...he's DM Bravo. Just feel like because of this constant comparison to Lara, he's put himself under unneeded pressure early on in his career. He obviously has the talent but still needs to work on his game a bit as he's prone to getting out to rash cut shots and mistimed drives. His fielding has improved exponentially though. Looking forward to seeing how he grows as his career progresses.

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