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Carlos Brathwaite: The Man Who Could Be More For West Indies

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Most teams bring about a sense of certainty in world cricket save some that often themselves don’t know what they’re about to do.
When an Australia or India perform in the middle, you can be certain that the match could well be set on fire by some special performances. It wasn’t any surprise that the two made it to the semis even before the world cup winners did.
England may have only recently become world champions but a spike in their match-winning performances was evident since 2016.
New Zealand give their level best until the final ball of a game is bowled. Need proof? Visit the already replayed YouTube run of the cracker of the super-over.
South Africa are a bunch of purely passionate advocates of the game. When you say the term ‘Protea Fire’ you, more often than not, identify a band of talents that uphold the values of the game.
So what about the West Indies?

Aren’t the West Indies the exclamation mark in the grammar of cricket?

Think of yourself as an examiner of their answer-sheet and you’ll find so many ‘fill in the blanks’ left open. To be honest, you don’t quite know which West Indies will turn up on any given day.
Take for example their 2019 World Cup campaign-opener against Pakistan. Was it the same bunch that turned up against England and India?
Theoretically, yes. Practically, no.
The same Windies that made a light work of Sarfaraz’s men saw their batters dismissed against India with 5 overs remaining in the bank, while against England, they returned to their hotel rooms with 15 overs remaining.

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It often seems the 22 yards isn’t but the TV screen is their PlayStation

Carlos Brathwaite
Source: Rediff

 
No other team seems so likely to turn around its waning fortunes in international cricket other than Jason Holder’s team, one that’s time and again, reminded us all of its mercurial powers.
Take Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope‘s stellar show at the Rosebowl, 2017 in the unforgettable Test win against Root’s men. Take their winning of the 2016 World Cup in a thumping fashion.
And take every tiny feat amassed by an interesting band of talent- whether it’s a Roston Chase defying Pakistan a Test series win, a Shai Hope tying an ODI with Kohli’s men in Kohli’s land or a Sheldon Cottrell saving runs, diving out full length to take skiers and even knitting useful partnerships down the order.
But in these times marked with rabid inconsistency, it’s talents like Carlos Brathwaite– hardworking, passionate, determined- that serve West Indies a fresh respite from commonly-seen episodes of cricketing mediocrity.
Few spectators, whether obsessed with Lara’s groundbreaking numbers, fully aware of AB’s innovation or even loosely aware of the standing of Jacques Kallis in Cricket might place Carlos Brathwaite among the finest all-rounders at present.

For much of Carlos Brathwaite’s career is still work in progress.

Carlos Brathwaite
Carlos Brathwaite in at number 6 is an exciting proposition for WI with the bat (Times Now)

 
With just 40 ODIs, 38 T20s and 3 Tests, it’s early days for the giant right-hander from Barbados, a fulcrum around which much of current West Indian cricketing structure revolves.
But anyone, regardless of geography or cricketing loyalty who saw Carlos Brathwaite’s innings against New Zealand on June 22, would understand that the West Indian cricket seems in safe hands.
A mere mathematical slicing of Brathwaite’s much important and in the end, heartbreakingly beautiful century- the first of his ODI career- would point to the limitless possibilities the Bajan can attain.

In his 82-ball-101, there were as many as 38 dot balls.

That may seem an awful lot for a batsman stuck in a situation where practically every ball had to leak runs.
Remember when Carlos Brathwaite arrived in the middle, Pooran, Holder, Hetmyer, Hope were all gone and the scorecard read 142 for 4. It was the 23rd over of the innings.
To that note, that Brathwaite technically notched up his hundred of 44 balls despite having not much support at the other end serves a fine example of the talent West Indies have at their disposal.
His five sixes were defined by sheer muscular power. He was brutal against Matt Henry, in top form that breezy Old Trafford evening, with his one-handed lash over extra cover prompting many to hit the replay button.

It wasn’t just about the power hits but also about sheer timing

Carlos Brathwaite
Carlos Brathwaite is a talented all-rounder already! (Gulf News)

 
He may not possess the most gorgeous copybook style. But anyone watching West Indies’ great resurgence against the Kiwis (eventually, victors on the day) would’ve noted the two cover drives he fired against Ferguson.
If there was ever an evening that produced clear evidence of West Indies suffering from bipolar disorder- the same order of men collapsing toothlessly against India and England whilst giving the World Cup runners up those scares- then this was it.
Carlos Brathwaite seemed a lion-tamer, authoring a masterclass of cricketing counterattack, unexpectedly when none thought it would occur, and lest it is forgotten, somewhat oddly, with his batting average, prior to that knock reading only 15.
At 6’4, Carlos Brathwaite is a lanky and well-built athlete. His chiseled frame and ability to pick the balls in his slot, more often than not, for a mighty hoic make him a highly watchable player.
As it proved the other day, with the likes of top-order- Lewis, and Gayle- and a developing middle-order comprising of Hope, Hetmyer, and Pooran already constituting a formidable order, Brathwaite at number 6 allows Windies to bat deep.
He may not boast of godly numbers to be instantaneously compared to a Shakib, Stokes or Moeen Ali.

But he also seems to be aware of shortcomings, particularly in ODIs

Carlos Brathwaite
In 2018, Brathwaite bowled economically at 4.15 in ODIs (Livemint)

 
And that could forge a promising path ahead for him. Not gifted with scary pace but capable of nagging accuracy, Brathwaite can be more than handy with the white ball.
Truth be told, here’s someone who the West Indies would be well advised to focus on and nurture. He’s among the few who’s made himself available for Tests.
Get him to speak with Joel Garner. Send him to Michael Holding. Let him pay his ears to what they have to say.
You cannot be doubted for thinking that this passionate West Indian who, until now, seems driven at fostering the familiar idea of a powerful resurgence would certainly want to cultivate his talent.
Not a Usain Bolt in the middle of the wickets and not someone you’d imagine scamper for ones and twos like a Cheetah- Carlos Brathwaite seems a cricketer who is the sum of the many parts that underline his cricketing abilities.
The need to step in with a few handy overs to contain a flowing run-rate. The urgency to score quickly. The reassurance with the safe pair of hands. He’s among the fittest West Indian cricketers. His towering physical persona, coupled with a thinking brain can indeed help him carve a long path ahead.
Carlos Brathwaite
He scores a majority of his runs toward the on-side (Zimbio)

But at 31, the biggest challenge for Carlos Brathwaite isn’t just the opposition he’ll come to embrace. But also the man who resides within his cricket-loving heart: the man who wants to get better, the winning West Indian he can be.

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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