West Indies v Zimbabwe, 1st ODI, Grenada February 23, 2013

Change in approach helps centurion Charles

ESPNcricinfo staff

Johnson Charles, the West Indies opener, who scored his second consecutive ODI century, against Zimbabwe in Grenada, said he owes his recent success to a change in approach over time. Charles made 130 in 111 balls to set up a massive victory in the first ODI for West Indies, together with Darren Bravo, who scored his maiden ODI ton.

"People know me as 'Johnson Charles the man who is a blaster', but I wanted to show that it's not about what you like, but what you have to do," Charles said after West Indies' 156-run win. "My role in the team as an opener is to give the team a solid start and look to bat deep into the innings, and I managed to achieve that today."

Charles made his ODI debut in March last year, got starts in his first few games and then slipped up. He joined the High Performance Centre in Barbados and said he was able to address his problems with the bat there. "I used to look to hit everything but I have realised there is a job to be done as an opener. If I get the ball to hit I will hit it, but I am more selective and I look to build a platform and build an innings. My time at the Sagicor HPC has been the turnaround in my career. The HPC has played a vital role in helping me to refine my game and I have a new kind of confidence that I can play and do well at this level.

"I have increased my range of strokes and I now realise I have more scoring options - I look to work the ball into the gaps and pick off runs, not just blast everything out of the ground. This is a special knock for me and I want to dedicate it to the people of my country in St Lucia as we celebrate our Independence Day today."

The game was a significant one for Bravo too, as a century in the 50-over format had eluded him in 50 games before this. He added 80 with Charles for the second wicket in just 62 balls and his own unbeaten innings of 100 included nine fours and four sixes. "I never panicked. I soaked up a lot of balls at the start of the innings as I tried to get myself in," Bravo said. "Johnno [Charles] was going great guns so my role was just to support him and turn over the strike, as it was a right-hand/left-hand combination. I knew that once I got in I could pick it up at the back end and that is what happened.

"The batting Powerplay was just around the corner so it was just a matter of playing it smart. It was a good pitch and the ball wasn't doing much, so I just had to make sure I kept my shape and played to my strong areas."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • eddo on February 24, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    @Fernsby so true. I am sick and tired of the negative comments directed at certain Windies players simply because they are from the "small islands". They conveniently forget the great Sir Viv, Andy Roberts and Curtly Ambrose were from the small island of Antigua. Before Viv and Andy shut them up is was the same crap they dumped on Antigua (as part of the then combined windward and Leeward island). Why dont I hear all the Guyanese talk about Sarwan? They were clamoring for his return so much. He looks fat and out of shape to me. My own Trini brethrens always yelling over and over for the much failed Ramdin as soon as he get dropped for yet another failure. And we know if they from Jamaica or Barbados they have to be Bradman right? Hey Charles is no worse than the slew of players ppl here keep crying for. Fact is talent in the Caribbean is thin. Don't blame coach captain or the fact players cannot be like the team of the 80s. Windies can only work with what they got!

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2013, 1:42 GMT

    all i going to say we still playing country cricket give credit where credit is due well played guys just try be patiene at the crease

  • $$ milind on February 23, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    Johnson Charles can keep wickets and he could be a real prospect for Windies in the future as he could replace Ramdin or Devon in ODIs and T20s atleast ..

    The best 11 for WI - Powell, Gayle, Charles, DM Bravo, Samuels, Pollard, DJ Bravo, Sammy, Rampaul, Narine, Best ... 12th man Badree

  • Michael on February 23, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    I could be wrong but Charles has something primal and animalistic about him. You can see it in his eyes. If given time to develop he will, I believe become a very destructive batsman. He is developing his confidence slowly and I believe that this is an essential ingredient in sport at the highest level. Case in point, IVA Richards who undoubtedly had a good technique, however he was separated from other players by his confidence.

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    DM Bravo has batted 48 ODI innings..This is his first century..Johnson Charles 11 ODI innings with 2 consecutive centuries..Weak opposition, dead rubber or not give the man his credit...

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    Really good to see centuries and half centuries from the young emerging players especially in the absence of the senior players. WI are heading back to the top slowly but surely. It is always interesting and disappointing to hear WI fans negatively criticize players who have just entered into international cricket. Many players in other countries take a while to get the consistency and technique required to stay at the top regularly even when they obviously have the talent. West Indies as a team took a while before they became a world powerhouse. Must I remind a few persons that Gayle and Pollard and DJ Bravo has not been consistent for WI in recent times. No one calls for their heads.

  • Albert on February 23, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    He is from the Windwards. I expect no better from the comments. If he was Jamaican they would be calling him the next Chris Gayle.

  • Keshara on February 23, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    yeah, i agree. it is good to give them a chance to prove them self. But sorry to say, i can't see any positive from Charles. Hope im wrong... On the other hand what about Brian Lara's rebirth... To reach a maiden Hundred with that sort of shots, Wow.!! only 3 words. FULL OF CLASS.. The day he walked to the scene, i knew it. Thanks you Darren. The walk, batting stance, Straight forward six to long on, that's reminds me of great Brian Charles Lara.

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    I wonder if people remember that Gayle wasn't particularly great at the top of the order at the start of his career...

    The fact is Players need to play and a high enough level so that their game can improve or the selectors can properly assess their relative abilities. It is foolish to take a player to Australia or England and drop them because they fail against the best team in the world or in the most difficult conditions. SMH!

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    Why at the point of his justification of selection, criticism still continue...? Did not Devon Smith, Barath, Simmons, Craig Brathwaite, Andre Flethcer, satisfied their own non selection? I like the selectors policy of giving those they have selected the opportunity to prove themselves despite thier initial failures.

    That is progressive thinking in my book

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