TT Red Force skipper Darren Bravo praised his team’s batting and believes they have the depth to go the distance this season in the West Indies Four-Day Championships. In the opening round draw with Jamaica Scorpions, at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, in Tarouba, Red Force batted once, amassing 460 for four declared. Bravo, who made 66 himself, praised the likes of Joshua Da Silva (113) and Yannic Cariah (100) for their unbeaten knocks, as well as debutant Keagan Simmons (89) and Jeremy Solozano (73).
“It’s always good to start on a good note and even myself, (I) wanted to start pretty well so I’m happy for them (the batsmen). I actually had a conversation with each and every single player one on one and I asked them to play particular roles and take a level of responsibility where the batting is concerned and most of them did that,” Bravo said.
This is the left-arm batsman’s first stint as skipper and he admitted there were mostly positives to take from the match, but they had to work on their fielding and catching. Kyle Hope put Jermaine Blackwood down early on in the final day and the Jamaican went on to make 78. This was just one of several slip-ups, which coach Mervyn Dillon also pointed out. Bravo was impressed they fielded for two innings back-to-back but did want more intensity from them. He also said his bowlers, despite giving a “good effort” needed to be a bit more mindful of the conditions.
“As a bowling unit, we need to be more disciplined as well. I think we were trying to get a wicket with every single ball rather than trying to build pressure and then get a wicket. (...) It was tough but having said that, I enjoyed the challenge and the guys gave me the necessary support and we played a fantastic game of cricket,” he said.
Bravo indicated with Leeward Islands Volcanoes looming in the next round, on Thursday, at the same venue, they’d need some rest but will be discussing these improvements moving forward as poor catching is something which also cost the team in the recent Super50 tournament. Nonetheless, the captain is enjoying how the less experienced players are stepping up the plate, particularly Cariah and Da Silva who won the Super50 with the West Indies Emerging Players.
He was also impressed with all-rounders such as Akeal Hosein who claimed four and three wickets in each innings respectively, as well as Bryan Charles, Terrance Hinds and Yannick Ottley. “I realised [something about] the type of surface we were going to play on and we decided to go with three or four all-rounders. I thought everybody played their part perfectly and we’ll see how it goes in the next game,” he added.
On this note, when quizzed about the team’s impressive depth as experienced players such as Jason Mohammed and Imran Khan were injured, Bravo admitted the selectors would have a much welcomed headache once they were fit. With players such as Ravi Rampaul, Lendl Simmons and even Nicholas Pooran also expressing interest in the Four Day team when available, Bravo mentioned this was something they’d have to look at too. However, he did pour cold water on Dwayne Bravo’s return as his brother was recalled to the West Indies T20 side.
“It’s always good to have experience, and I believe experience and a young guy mix-up is very good. We’ll see how things go. I probably might have a say here and there, but all in all, whatever team we select to go and represent T&T Red Force will be the best team possible at any time,” he concluded.