Dwayne John Bravo
October 07, 1983, Santa Cruz, Trinidad
Right hand Bat
Right arm Medium
Dwayne Bravo is that creature long needed by West Indies, an allrounder with plenty of flair and skill both as a batsman and seam bowler. Unfortunately for West Indies, they haven't been able to utilise his services as often as they probably would have liked to: till the end of 2013, more than nine years since his Test debut, he had played only 40 out of West Indies' 81 Tests in the same period. Prioritising IPL over international cricket has led to differences with the board, while injuries have also limited his Test appearances, but as a limited-overs player Bravo remains a key member for West Indies and took over from Darren Sammy as ODI captain in 2013. He held the post till December 2014, when the selectors replaced him with Jason Holder and left him out of the ODI side, two months after he had played a central role in the team pulling out mid-way from a tour to India due to issues with the payment structure in their revised contracts.
As a player, Bravo's skills and self-confidence at the big stage were never in doubt right from the early days in his international career. He made his Test debut at Lord's in July 2004, and took three wickets in the first innings with his medium-paced swingers. He also showed a cool enough temperament to forge a confident start at the crease with the bat. By the end of the series, it was clear that Bravo was a special talent. He scored plenty of runs and claimed a bunch of wickets in four Tests, but nowhere was his ability more evident than in Manchester, where he top-scored for the team, and then restricted England with a six-wicket haul. He hit 107 against South Africa in April 2004-05 at Antigua to bring up his maiden century and in November 2005, scored a magnificent 113 against Australia at Hobart. He dazzled in the ODI series against India in May 2006, bamboozling the batsmen with his slower ones and chipping in with match-winning contributions with the bat. He grew as a player in the limited-overs format in the 2006-07 season with a fluent unbeaten 112, his maiden ODI ton, against England in the Champions Trophy and achieved his best career figures, 4 for 39, against India in the last game before the World Cup. He was often a rare glimmer of joy among some depressing moments until an ankle injury struck in 2008 and ruled him out for eight months.
Around that time, his value as a Twenty20 player came into focus, and with several such leagues coming - most prominently the IPL - Bravo chose those commitments over the West Indians ones. In 2010, he, along with Kieron Pollard, turned down a WICB central contract which would require him to be available to play for West Indies at all times. Next year, he chose the IPL over a two-Test home series against Pakistan. Between 2011 and 2013, West Indies played 24 Tests but Bravo didn't play any of them. He retired from Test cricket in January 2015.
On the other hand, he became a fixture in the Chennai Super Kings line-up in the IPLs: in the 2013 season, he led the wickets tally with 32. He came back to play for West Indies in the limited-overs games, but the feeling persisted that West Indies were severely under-utilising his talents.
Vaneisa Baksh and ESPNcricinfo staff
Batting & Fielding