West Indies v Zimbabwe, 1st ODI, Grenada

Change in approach helps centurion Charles

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 23, 2013

Comments: 19 | Text size: A | A

Johnson Charles is hit by the ball while attempting a sweep, West Indies v Zimbabwe, 1st ODI, Grenada, February 22, 2013
Johnson Charles made it two ODI centuries in a row © WICB Media/Randy Brooks Photo
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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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Swingit 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!

Posted by   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

Posted by class9ryan 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

Posted by Principle 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.

Posted by   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...

Posted by   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.

Posted by WILAD 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.

Posted by krs4keshara 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.

Posted by   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!

Posted by   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

Posted by krs4keshara on (February 23, 2013, 14:19 GMT)

I am truly support my west indies,,,, if they achieved a win against any sort of team, for me, that is always a big big win. If no one does but i do... *Talking about Johnson Charles, yeah, i can smile, but that smile hasn't always been good for the west indies. This has been happening for so long, a one come with a massive hundred, then suddenly it is a talking point. This is not good. Why don't you see this.? Wavel Hinds, Dwayne Smith, Adrian Barath, Andre Fletcher. How many times those have failed west indies. Just making a huge hundred does not prove anything. Those guys have very poor poor techniques, so the Johnson Charles. Seems to me he was never comfortable at the crease. Last 2 centuries, that was only luck.. Now, one thing is for sure, these hundreds going to keep him in WI lineup for sometime and for that sometimes, the result would be the same. I'm sorry,, this is not good. Only one man can prove that he can support Chris, he is no one, he is Shivenareen Chanderpaul...

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

why do people from Caribbean not like a player who scores two centuries back to back look at shaid afridi boom boom i just do not understand they loose they complain they win its a weak team just give players a chance it hurts me to see this pathetic criticism when those who bash players i know love the game but i guess its their nature that they want their way their players only if life was perfect for them they should play for west indies !!!! good job i just love watching an exciting game with a good challenge

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

While I agree that the skill of the opposition has alot to be desired, I congratulate both WI players for scoring a century. It can only help their game if they both get used to scoring high runs, rather than getting out cheaply. Darren Bravo's talent has been spoken of plenty, but Charles is still young and for those doubters here is food for thought. I remember when Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden made their respective debuts for Australia and how we (WI) dealt with them. What happened? They were dropped, but, they were not forgotten. They played lesser teams, got their game (in Langer's case changed his) and the next thing? History (and stats) tell you how successful they became. We WI supporters have been starved of success against top teams for soo long we lack the necessary patience. The foundations needs to be strong for us to once again be strong, and I for one like were we are heading. Keep learning youngsters, as you do us proud!

Posted by lenedwards96yahoo.co.uk on (February 23, 2013, 10:32 GMT)

HERE WE GO! West Indies fans bigging up a player because he made a century against a pathetically useless international side. HE FAILED more often than not against Australia and will continue to fail against top sides because he is not of international standard

Posted by everfaithful77 on (February 23, 2013, 7:50 GMT)

CONGRATULATIONS JOHNSON CHARLES ON YOUR BRILLIANT HUNDRED. It was indeed a wonderful INDEPENDENCE DAY gift for you and St. Lucia. DARREN BRAVO also for his FIRST ODI century. Keep up the good work guys. Looking forward to plenty more hundreds to come. Johnson you proved that the century you made in Australia was not a FLUKE and now you have earned your place in the Windies ODI and T20 sides. Don't worry about the naysayers but just apply the same strategy you learned at HPC everytime you come to the crease. Just guard against getting carried away with reverse sweeps and the like. It's really heartening to see the young batsmen POWELL, BRAVO and CHARLES leading the charge for Windies. Indeed Windies batting have a BRIGHT FUTURE.

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

Good to see Darren Bravo finally score a one day hundred. I have always followed his career quite closely and his average in ODI cricket is not a true reflection of the talent he possesses. Charles is still a young man and very much a developing / emerging player. It will be interesting to see what the bating line up for the ODI's will be when Gayle & Samuels are both back in to the equation as Powell and Charles are currently the form batsmen. My ODI side when all are fit & available (and not late coming back from Bangladesh....) Gayle, Charles, Powell, Samuels, Darren Bravo, Pollard, Ramdin, Sammy, Narine, Roach, Rampaul.

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

@VivGichrist... U are right ..but if you see this from WI prospective Charles played an Extra Ordinary inings...last time when this same ZIM toured WI...they won 1st ODI and alst T20..where WI batsmen unable to score with 3 runs/over..So for WI this is great inings but from Top Ranked teams Charles would have been not picked to play...Simple

Posted by VivGilchrist on (February 23, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

Wow! A century against a top class Zimbabwe attack. His other century was against Australia, where he was out four times and dropped twice. His first-class record tells the story.

Posted by WILAD on (February 23, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

Good to see some improvement. Many people wondered why you were in the side. Now you have shown why.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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