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February 23, 2013
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.
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Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?