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West Indies head coach Stuart Law has revealed that all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite was dropped from the ODI squad for the upcoming series against Pakistan so that he can work on his fitness and bowling.
Brathwaite recently captained the West Indies in the four-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan, which the men from the Caribbean lost 3-1.
The 28-year-old has failed to have an impact in ODI cricket thus far as he has featured in 23 matches and scored 270 runs, during which he has only surpassed 25 runs on one occasion, at an average of 13.50. In regards to his bowling, he has taken 21 wickets at an average of 47.47.
With Brathwaite having been omitted from the ODI team, Law confirmed that the national selectors have allowed him to ply his trade at the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“From [those who played] the series against England, Carlos Brathwaite has been left out,” Law said. “I thought the opportunity was there for Carlos to go away and work on a few aspects of his game, namely his fitness and bowling, and getting back to bowling how he wants to bowl.
“That’s why he’s been left out, and it’s just coincided that the IPL is there and we have no cricket after this IPL series and he hasn’t been part of the last Test series.
“So the selectors gave him the option of going to the IPL as well, which I think is a good thing. [He’ll] get to talk to guys like [Delhi Daredevils coach] Rahul Dravid, learn how to play spin, get plenty of practice, and work on his fitness and bowling.”
Law also pointed out that opener Kraigg Brathwaite has lost his spot in the side in favour of Chadwick Walton, who is a more aggressive batsman.
“We spoke to Kraigg after the last series and we’ve spoken to him since. We’re just looking for a bit more impetus at the top of the order in the first ten-over Powerplay,” Law said. “We need to make a bit more use of those overs, and Kraigg’s aware of that. It’s not like he’s never going to play for the West Indies in ODI cricket again. He’s got the opportunity to return to first-class cricket and score runs which he has done, and also a good opportunity for him to get in good nick and feel comfortable about his game before the Test series starts.
“Chadwick Walton, I saw him for the first time in the flesh in the ODI series, he had an outstanding 50-over [regional] tournament. He also scored a hundred in the warm-up against England in St Kitts. So he comes in with form under his belt so I’m looking forward to seeing what he can offer in the first ten overs.”
With the ODI series bearing a lot of importance to West Indies’ hopes of gaining automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup, Law admitted that his side have to be a lot more consistent than they were in the Twenty20 series.
“We underachieved during the T20 series. The second game was the one that we threw away. We got in the driver’s seat, got the total down to under a run a ball and unfortunately messed that one up,” he said. “The fightback began in the third game where Evin Lewis basically took the game on single-handedly. In the last one we made poor decisions in the middle order. Players have got to start performing consistently.”
The three-match ODI series between the West Indies and Pakistan gets underway on Friday in Guyana.