QUEENSTOWN – Darren Bravo said he achieved his objective during the West Indies opening match on the Tour of New Zealand against the Blackcaps’ reserve.
The Windies left-hander gave evidence that he could unlock the potential of the Caribbean side’s batting in the forthcoming Test series against New Zealand, with a masterly 135 in his only innings in the three-day warm-up match on Saturday at John Davies Oval.
“For me, it was not about the runs, it was about spending time in the middle and adjusting to the conditions,” he said. “I think this will work more in my favour in the Test series.
“The New Zealand “A” team batted first and it’s always good to look at the opposition and the way they go about things.”
He added: “The pitch was not bouncy, and I believe if you put the ball in the right areas, you were going to get results. They played pretty well. They were pretty confident in their approach.
“Their batsmen were not rushing anything, so I just tried to emulate that in the same way that they went about things and try to wait on the bad balls and put them away. The coach has asked us to bat for as long as possible and I tried to do that and it worked out in this particular innings.”
Bravo, 31, one of the most capped members of the West Indies Test squad on the Tour of New Zealand with 54 matches behind him, said he enjoyed batting in New Zealand because the pitches tend to play very true.
His highest Test score of 218 was against the Blackcaps seven years ago at University Oval in Dunedin.
“The pitches are very good for batting,” he said. “We do not really get these sorts of pitches back in the Caribbean and when you play in these conditions you get value for your shots.
“I am someone that knows I am quite capable of batting long, so it is just about getting a start and staying focussed as much as possible.
“At times, the ball does move around a lot. But as a Test batsman, the most important thing is to trust your defence. And if you trust your defence, things should work out for you as a batsman.”
Bravo, 31, said the past two years, when it appeared his international career was under threat, has helped him to become more mature.
He said even in the nets, he is trying not to get out, even though it is limited time, and he is constantly challenging himself to lift his game and helping other players.
“I am at a stage where I think I understand my game much more,” he said. “I am more mature in the way I think, so we will see how it goes. I am excited about this series and I think it is about time I get the runs flowing once more.
“I think captaining T&T Red Force gave me that insight as to what it takes to be a leader. It helped me with my game and the way I see things. I enjoy the game a lot more now, so I am looking forward to the challenge.”
He said: “I try my best to give advice and I also take advice even from the younger players. My goal and my responsibility are to always do well for West Indies. It does not always happen, but it is always my intention.
“I believe when you give advice, and you open up yourself to the other players on the team that in itself will give you confidence because there will be a point when you will need help and they can come and tell you that you are doing this wrong or that wrong and to try this. All in all, communication is very important.”
West Indies face the Blackcaps reserve again in a four-day match, starting this coming Thursday at the same venue.
It will be their final warm-up prior to the first Test, which starts on Thursday, December 3 at Seddon Park in Hamilton, and the second Test, which begins on December 11 at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.