Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
West Indies opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite has announced that he is feeling a lot more confident after scoring his maiden Test century during the second Test against New Zealand in Trinidad.
Brathwaite’s comments come after he made 68 on the second day of the third Test against New Zealand in Barbados.
“I am trying to build on my foundation,” Brathwaite said. “The hundred in Trinidad gave me a lot of confidence and I’m looking to move forward and cement a spot in the team at the top of the order. I try to give 100% every time.
“I told myself to be positive and look to play my strokes. It is a matter of control and looking to hit the bad ball. I won’t say I have become more attacking, it’s just that I’m more confident. However, I don’t want to get too comfortable and lose focus on my goal, which is to make big scores for the West Indies.”
Brathwaite also noted that he enjoys opening the batting with Chris Gayle since it allows him to get settled at the crease while Gayle crushes the confidence of the New Zealand bowling attack with his flamboyant strokes.
“Batting with Chris was good for me,” he said. “He was batting quite well and going after the bowling so I decided to rotate the strike and have a close look at things from the other end. In the end, I got a few boundaries and got to my fifty quite quickly and managed to put the team in a good position and we will try to the win the game now.
“The ball was not swinging much and there was not much pace in the pitch so with that in mind it was okay to hit the ball square, once you covered it. As an opener you will always get balls to score off.”
Meanwhile, New Zealand pace bowler Neil Wagner stated that he felt pleased to have dismissed Brathwaite just before the rain came and wiped out the remainder of the second day.
“It was quite good to break the partnership, and obviously, to squeeze the next batters coming in,” Wagner said. “They got away a bit this morning and batted quite well, so it wasn’t really an ideal start for us. We just need to focus on what we can do tomorrow and come in and change.
“Obviously, the rain coming in is disappointing. We felt just before lunch and after lunch, we were putting a bit of pressure. If we had got another one or two wickets, we would have been in with a bit of a chance. It’s a bit disappointing, but we can’t control the weather.”
Wagner added that the pitch had nothing in it for the bowlers.
“There’s not a lot of assistance in the pitch,” he said. “I think it’s one of those grounds where a lot of boundaries get scored. It’s a quick outfield with small boundaries, so it can get a little away from you. There is a lot of value for shots. Our job is to just try and eliminate that and build a bit of pressure. As soon as we can do that, we can try to get a couple of quick wickets.
“West Indies feed on the bowling like today and are confident in themselves. But we also know that they are the kind of team that crumble when they lose a couple of quick wickets, so we’re always hopeful of that. So for us, it’s just a matter of being patient and executing our plans for a longer period of time.”