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West Indies Cricket
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2019

How England could do with an opener like Kraigg Brathwaite (article)

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02 Feb 2019 08:07 - 02 Feb 2019 08:08 #368871 by TRINIDADDY
www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2019/feb/...ke-kraigg-brathwaite

"Brathwaite, like many Caribbean cricketers of his generation, was drawn to play the sport by the dashing brilliance of Brian Lara. But as he grew to appreciate the nuances of the game it was another batsman who became his muse: Shiv Chanderpaul.

After first entering the West Indies dressing room in 2011, aged 19, Brathwaite spent four years studying Chanderpaul close up. And at a time when his peers were looking to expand their games and scorch their way round the global Twenty20 circuit he became captivated by the great Guyanese’s ability to concentrate for extended periods.
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Brathwaite is right-handed of course and, even if batting in the mirror would bear little resemblance to his former teammate, he sets up in orthodox fashion with a low-slung backlift, rather than the front-on stance of Chanderpaul that became more exaggerated over time and earned comparisons with crustaceans or other types of arthropod.

But from opener, as opposed to the middle order, he too looks to play the ball on merit and with soft hands, grinding down bowling attacks in a game of who blinks first that both dulls the ball’s shine and puts overs into the legs of his opponents. It is not flashy. It does not empty bars. And it is not the path to the greatest cricketing riches in this part of the world (such that, at 26, he is yet to play a Twenty20 match either domestically or at international level). It is, however, incredibly effective in the Test arena, as England know full well.

Just after lunch on the second day in Antigua the tourists finally prised this particular Bajan barnacle from its rock, with a smidgen of extra bounce from Moeen Ali teasing the bat-pad that was happily gobbled up by short-leg. It left Brathwaite one run short of his half-century and, as he trudged back to the dressing room in the Sir Andy Roberts End, his previously gimlet-eyes hinted at a tinge of regret. In the context of a low-scoring match, and on a pitch still offering some of the variable bounce witnessed during’s England’s 187 all out on the first day, he would surely have been greeted with hearty back-slaps from his teammates. Brathwaite had not only taken his side to 133 for two in reply but he had been out in the middle for 53 overs.
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The previous evening had witnessed 21 of these, as he and John Campbell repelled England’s opening salvos and made it a fifth successive day of Caribbean dominance. But while his partner was pretty chancy en route to 47 – just ask Stuart Broad, who on more than one occasion was left pleading with the gods for something to go his way – Brathwaite scarcely put a foot wrong.

In the morning on day two he waited until the 40th over before striking his first four, with only two more following, one of which was all-run. As was the case when he batted five and a half hours for 116 against England in Grenada four years ago, or more than 10 across two innings for 134 and 95 during his side’s famous win at Headingley in 2017, time was the only currency in which he was dealing.

Slightly flashier off the field – he owns a racehorse called Sharjah back home in Barbados, named after an eight-hour unbeaten 146 against Pakistan in the emirate three years ago – Brathwaite’s stoic work nevertheless embodies much of what is admirable about this West Indies side.

An average of 35 from 55 Tests may not leap off the page but a more telling statistic from CricViz is that over the past five years only Alastair Cook’s mean of 87 balls per innings sits above Brathwaite’s 85 among established openers. With all their positive batsmen in the middle order, England could do with someone similar in the post-Cook era. The question for Ed Smith and his selection panel is whether they are looking for a player of such qualities, if indeed they still exist."
Last edit: 02 Feb 2019 08:08 by TRINIDADDY.

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02 Feb 2019 10:53 - 02 Feb 2019 10:54 #368877 by ketchim

TRINIDADDY wrote: Slightly flashier off the field – he owns a racehorse called Sharjah
named after an eight-hour unbeaten 146 against Pakistan in the emirate three years ago –

TD, guess the car that Paint drives ??
Last edit: 02 Feb 2019 10:54 by ketchim.

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02 Feb 2019 13:21 #368892 by TRINIDADDY
A CB24 Caterpillar steamroller?

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02 Feb 2019 14:41 #368893 by ketchim
consider TINY Bim with very narrow roads !
and fast cars : think Horse Power ;)

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