'Been a leader since I started playing' - Bravo
Dwayne Bravo has said it is too early for him to think about what effect leadership may have on his personal performance after he took over from Darren Sammy as the West Indies ODI captain. The five-match series against Pakistan which starts on Sunday will only be Bravo's third after he was handed the captaincy ahead of the Champions Trophy, but he admitted he need to do better with bat and ball.
"Since I took over the captaincy, I have only played a few matches and I did not get much opportunity," Bravo said, according to the Guyana Chronicle. "I even missed a couple of games through injury and the one match when I was banned. But personally, I am not going to actually analyse my own performance as yet, whether the captaincy is going to affect me or not.
"As I said in previous interviews, I really need to actually step up a bit more with my batting, bowling and fielding, in order for the team to do well, since the team requires me to perform at my best and once I can do that, the team and by extension West Indies cricket will benefit some more."
Bravo has had previous leadership experience, having led West Indies in an ODI series in South Africa in 2008 after then captain Chris Gayle pulled out with an injury. He also took the reins against Zimbabwe at home earlier this year after Sammy was rested. Becoming regular captain now wasn't a massive change, Bravo said. "I have been a leader in the team since I started playing, so this new role is not much of a difference. It just makes the challenge more mental for me, but I think I have the right number of guys with the experience to help me through the tough period."
West Indies had a mixed Champions Trophy, a win and a loss followed by a rain-hit tie that led to their exit. They started promisingly with wins over India and Sri Lanka in the Jamaica leg of the tri-series but lost to both sides in Trinidad to lose out on a place in the final. Bravo asked people to show more faith in his players, saying they had performed well in the past.
"I am comfortable with the squad and I am comfortable with each and every player. I know a lot of players had poor form in the last series. But they are all good players and we know what they did in the past and there is not much I can say to them, but just to make sure they believe in themselves. I have to make sure they continue to back their ability.
"They have done great for West Indies in the past and people must not forget that. We all know some persons have short minds in the Caribbean, but just remember the great things they have done for us over the past eight years or so and I am looking forward to the guys who have not done well in the last series, to come forward and do well."
West Indies play the first two ODIs against Pakistan in Guyana followed by three in St Lucia before the tour concludes with two Twenty20 in St Vincent.