Confident Brathwaite aiming to become match-winner
DUBAI, UAE (CMC):
All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite has his eyes fixed on being a match-winner for West Indies in the Twenty20 World Cup starting next week, and believes his skill set could be valuable in the team's success.
The 27-year-old has emerged as a strong attacking lower-order batsman and tidy seamer, and proved a revelation on the recent Test tour of Australia with a couple of half-centuries.
Brathwaite said while his batting was currently ahead of his bowling, he was working hard to produce in both areas, to earn West Indies positive results in the March 8 to April 3 ICC event in India.
"In T20, fortunately, I have the option of both [batting and bowling], but some days you go well with the ball ... and some days it's not so good with the ball, but then you have a chance to make up with the bat, so being an all-rounder is a plus," Brathwaite said yesterday.
"I'm striking the ball really nicely at the moment. My batting is probably just ahead of my bowling for the time being but hopefully, at least for one or two games in the World Cup, both of them come together nicely to win a game for West Indies."
On Test debut last December in Melbourne, Brathwaite struck an impressive 59 in the second Test batting at number eight, and then followed up with a whirlwind 69 off 66 balls in the final Test at Sydney.
On the tour of Sri Lanka last October, the right-hander blasted 113 off 58 balls against the Sri Lanka President's XI in a 50-over game.
Brathwaite, a late call-up to the Windies T20 World Cup squad because of injury to Kieron Pollard, said he always backed his ability regardless of the result.
"I'm pretty confident in my skills. I know once I go out there and execute the plans that I've set for myself and the targets that I've set, I'll be successful," he pointed out.
While Brathwaite's batting has been coming along well, he also remains a threat with the ball and picked up three wickets in the second unofficial warm-up T20 against Zimbabwe in Sharjah last Monday.
He said one of his aims on the current tour was to lift his bowling.
"I'm trying a few things in the nets. I'm trying to bowl a bit quicker. It's been working thus far and long may it continue," he explained.
"The situation of the [Zimbabwe] game was more suited to my style of bowling - more containment rather than attacking - and I was just fortunate and lucky to get the three wickets which I was happy about."