Following West Indies' comprehensive victory in the second T20I against Australia, veteran Dwayne Bravo revealed that one of his primary goals is to guide and mentor young players in the side, transferring all the experience. Bravo starred with the bat on Saturday, scoring an unbeaten 47.
West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, with his 17 year-international experience, is the second most senior player in the current West Indies squad after Chris Gayle. In 2019, Bravo made a return to international cricket almost a year after retiring and the second phase of his career has seen him not just play and contribute individually, but also mentor the younger players in the squad.
Recently, the 37-year-old even moved to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots from Trinbago Knight Riders for CPL 2021 with the sole intention to work with younger players for the benefit of Cricket West Indies.
In the second T20I against Australia, the same was clearly evident as Bravo guided Shimron Hetmyer in their 103-run partnership, playing second-fiddle in a partnership that delfated the visitors. Speaking post the game, Bravo said that, at this point in his career, he is outrightly focused on guiding the younger players and passing all information that he's garnered over the years.
“It's just about guiding the younger players: Hety (Shimron Hetmyer), Pooran, Obed McCoy, Hayden Walsh...that's the kind of information we keep feeding to these younger players," Bravo told the official broadcaster.
"We needed partnerships and the way Hetmyer batted in the first game and into this game, it's just a pleasure to see him bat. He's a batting leader in our group, we gave him the responsibility to take control of the batting and show some maturity. We all know how classy he is and how dangerous he can be, [the advice was] just to bat deep, it's a ground that has a big wind factor advantage,” he added.
After coming back from international retirement, Bravo was demoted either at No.7 or No.8 but in the second T20I, he was given back his old position (No.5) to control the innings after the team were reduced to 59/3 inside eight overs. Bravo stated that his role was to hold at one end to allow other batsmen like Andre Russell or Nicholas Pooran to go after the bowlers.
"It was always in the team plan if we bat first and we lose early wickets for me to go in and control the innings with the bat - it's more my style of play," Bravo mentioned.
"Pick up the ones and twos, lay that solid platform for the likes of [Andre] Russell, Fabian [Allen], Pooran, if Polly is in the squad, to do what they have to do in the back end. I must be honest, at some point, I was trying to get out at the back end to allow Russell and these guys to finish off,” he added.
Hayden Walsh Jr. (3/29) and Sheldon Cottrell (2/22) helped West Indies to fold up the Australian innings for 140 in 19.2 overs but it was Fidel Edwards who picked the key wicket of Australia skipper Aaron Finch, bowling a slow, loopy ball that beat his pads and crashed into the batsman's stumps. Bravo revealed that it was he who, in fact, taught Edwards how to bowl the variation that resulted in the undoing of the Aussie skipper.
“Two days ago I teach him how to do it. I said, you have the perfect action to bowl a different slower ball. I let him stand about five feet away from me and said Fidel (Edwards), all you have to do with your action is sling the ball like this with pace but he didn't have the confidence to do it in a game. So I said to him to do a few in practice. I said do it [in the game], nothing wrong with trying, so for me to see him have the success I'm happy,” Bravo concluded.