OMAR KHAN, manager of Caribbean Premier League (CPL) outfit Guyana Amazon Warriors, has welcomed the recall of Darren Bravo to the 15-member West Indies’ One Day International (ODI) squad for the three-game series away to Sri Lanka.
The West Indies will play three ODIs from February 22 to March 1, followed by a pair of T20 Internationals on March 4 and 6.
And Bravo will be part of the ODI team for the first time since the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales.
Khan said on Monday, “It was only a matter of time. There is no question about his ability or his class as a batsman. It’s about him having the right mental frame of mind to be able to, not put added pressure onto himself, and just go out there and play his game.
“He’s a natural stroke-maker,” Khan continued. “He would do tremendously well for the West Indies team. Under the leadership of Kieron Pollard, he would be more motivated to play a key role (with the team).
“He also now has leadership capabilities having captained TT in the Regional Four Day Tournament. He’s done okay. I’m sure he would have learnt a lot from his stint as captain.”
The WI top order has been inconsistent for some time and Khan hopes that Bravo will be able to solidify things, especially since fellow left-handed batsmen Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer were both left out the squad after failing to meet the required fitness standards.
“Definitely it has to be because with Lewis not in the squad,” said the former TT and West Indies team manager. “I am taken aback that he has not passed his fitness requirements. That’s a big blow because Evin scored heavily against Ireland and he’s in top form.”
Khan continued, “For him not to be in the team is sad. If that’s the rules and policies of Cricket West Indies (CWI) that you have to pass the fitness requirements, then, as a player, you have to be prepared for that.
“Bravo will add stability to the top order. He’s a player who can bat long and, with Shai Hope at the top, both of them I expect to be the pillars, in terms of laying the foundation for the lower order batsmen like (Rovman) Powell and Pollard to come and capitalise.”
With Lewis and Hetmyer out of the team, Khan pointed out, “I think Brandon King has been given another opportunity. Sunil Ambris, I’m surprised he’s on the squad but it’s another opportunity for him to capitalise on it. At the end of the day, it’s all about everyone understanding their roles and responsibilities in the team.”
Bravo, Powell, Jason Holder and Fabian Allen have been recalled to the team and Khan is expecting WI to prevail in the three-match ODI series.
“I think so,” said Khan. “Playing Sri Lanka at home is not going to be easy but we had a good series against India, we were competitive. I’m sure the guys will do well in Sri Lanka. There is a camp planned for them, so they’ll be able to familiarise themselves with the conditions.
“Under Pollard’s leadership, you can see he’s instilling that sort of confidence, discipline and the right attitude in the guys, to go out there and play cricket the right way. I expect them to do well.”