SHARJAH–Opener Kraigg Brathwaite believes the first class season starting next week in the Caribbean will be pivotal to the West Indies' continued development as a Test side.
The 23-year-old, who earned Man-of-the-Match honours after steering the visitors to a five-wicket victory over Pakistan in the third and final Test here yesterday, said that with a break in the Windies Test schedule, it was important players returned to the four-day competition and honed their craft.
"We have a good group of young guys so it's important for us to keep working," he told reporters here.
"Obviously we have five months before the next Test series [but] we have first class cricket going on back home when we get back so it's key for all the guys to go there and keep working hard.
"The same things you want to do in the Tests you do there so that when you come for the next Test series you will be ready and looking to win games."
Brathwaite was monumental in the just concluded game as he helped West Indies pull off their first Test win in 19 months and first on foreign soil in four years.He carried his bat for a magnificent unbeaten 142 in the first innings and followed up with 60 not out in the second innings, as West Indies overhauled a victory target of 153.
He put on 87 in a match-winning unbroken sixth wicket stand with fellow Barbadian Shane Dowrich, who also struck an unbeaten 60.
The pair pulled the Caribbean side around from 67 for five late on the fourth day and then calmly steered them to 114 for five from the start on the final morning, easily collecting the 39 remaining runs.
"Thinking about it (victory) you got a bit nervous but at the end of the day I believed that me and Shane could've done it," Brathwaite said.
"We kept talking to each other and I was confident we could've done it so I wasn't that nervous."He added: "It was a low pitch so I kept saying [to myself] I wanted to be on the front foot more than the back foot and that's what I was thinking about throughout the whole innings. That was my aim."
The victory was the first for West Indies since they beat England in Bridgetown last year May and was also their first of the series after eight consecutive defeats stretching back to the Twenty20 and one-day series last month.
Brathwaite said the success would be a boost for team morale but stressed the need for West Indies to consistently reproduce the good things they had done in this Test.
"It will do a lot for the team. Obviously the guys are very happy and we know what we did to win so I think it is key going forward that we continue to work towards that goal and put in the necessary stuff you have to do to get wins," Brathwaite pointed out.
"We've got to win so we know what we have to do, we know what we did and it's important to stay positive and look to get more wins in the future." (CMC)