ICC Live

In focus

Buy Tickets for 2017 - 300x250

Must-win game more exciting: Bravo

West Indies captain calls on team to mesh talent with smarts in virtual knock-out against South Africa

Must-win game more exciting: Bravo - Cricket News
West Indies' Dwayne Bravo bats during the cricket match between India and West Indies at The Oval.
Dwayne, now it is a quarterfinal, so does that make things a bit easier that you know you have to go for the total? 
It doesn't make it easier; it makes it more exciting. That is something we love as players. It's one of the reasons we play the game to become competitive and trust in our skills and our teammates. That whenever we're in a position that is a must‑win situation, that we all come together and bring our best game. That is all I can ask for from the team.

We have had a good preparation, and we are looking forward to the challenge again tomorrow and hopefully we come out on top.    

What do you make of the conditions here? How different they are from The Oval and the fact that it's been raining as well? 
Well, rain is expected, and we have no control over the weather. The conditions, obviously, tend to be different from The Oval. But, having said that, we haven't gotten an opportunity to see what the middle is like, so we don't know what kind of wicket it's going to be. It's beyond our control.

Like I said before, what we can control is how we prepare to come tomorrow to play a good game of cricket, and try to do the basics right and learn from our mistakes from our last game in a similar situation. Like I said before, all we can ask from the guys is to give it their best shot, and what happens after that, happens.    

Steyn is still a question mark; how big a blow would that be for South Africa and for the West Indies? 
It's going to be a blow for South Africa, obviously, the best bowler in the world unable to take part in the tournament so far. It's unfortunate, but injuries do happen to players. For us as West Indians, we're not really concerned if he plays or not. We know he's going to be a bonus for them, and we respect him as a player. At the same time, we have the right balance on our team to counter any opposition, any attack.

I as a player, would like to see him playing again from one player to the next, but, yeah, we are not really too concerned about whether he plays or not.    

So you know how they play in the IPL, is it a good thing going into the game that you know their weaknesses and strengths or sometimes when you know too much about the opposition, they also have an advantage? 
You always get to know the opposition. But like I said, if you plan and don't execute the game plan, it makes no sense knowing the opposition. So it's important that we plan properly. Yes, we've played a lot with the South African players in the IPL, and we share dressing rooms with them and we know how they think. But at the end of the day, have to play on the cricket field.

We look at the Indian team, all of us know the Indians, just like the West Indians. The Indian team is now like a family affair between West Indies and Team India. But at the end of the day, it's country versus country, and you have to separate IPL or franchise team to make sure you do well for your country.

South Africa would be in the same position for us.  It's a must‑win situation, and I know it's a team that's going to come very hard. They're a fantastic team. Like I said, we're up for the challenge and really looking forward to it and it's going to be a very good game.    

Is there any lesson that you can take from the World T20 the way you progress in the tournament into tomorrow's game? 
We must have belief; that is something we had in the T20. We know we have very good T20 players, what matters is us playing together as a team and trying to win cricket games. So in this format, it's longer so it requires more skills and more thinking, and I think that's where we fall short most times in this format.

So it's something we need to work on as a team, and try to identify where we can improve in certain areas, and I see no doubt why we can't do this because we have the ability on our team to play as well as any other International Cricket team in the world.    

As a fellow International Cricketer, do you have a view on the incident involving Australia's David Warner? 
It's unfortunate. There is nothing really I can comment on, and I would like to distance myself from it. But, as I say, it's sad. It's sad for him, it's sad for the tournament, but hopefully he learned from his mistakes and gets back playing as soon as possible. Cricket needs someone like him, and he's a fantastic player.  Hopefully, yeah, he'll come back soon.    

Your batting lineup hasn't quite fired yet in this tournament. Do you think that you're probably due tomorrow, and what would you say the reasons are for that strong order of yours not firing? 
Yeah, we are aware of it. We're also aware that other teams have been struggling also, not only our batting lineup. But if you look at the scores throughout other countries, it's been very low scoring, and it's a bit of concern for us, I must say. But I know we have the ability and the talent to go out there and make big totals. But talent can only take you so far, so we just have to be smarter in certain situations. And show that once we approach the game tomorrow with a bit more common sense and try to learn from the mistakes we did in the last game and try to make sure that we don't do it again. I see no reason why we can't do well tomorrow.    

Does the past record matter at all, because you haven't beaten South Africa in a One Day match for a long time now? Secondly, do you think tomorrow is the right day for you to try out a fourth specialist bowler apart from the top three that you have in Rampaul, Roach, and Narine, have a fourth specialist bowler to back up the pressure that is generated by the three bowlers? Because the crucial fourth/fifth slot is filled up by yourself, a true all-rounder but the others, those are all part‑timers.  Do you think tomorrow is a case to have a fourth specialist bowler? 
To answer the first question, I think in tournaments, it doesn't really matter whether you win previous games against opposition or not. I think the South Africans will feel the pressure also. They know if they lose, they are going back home. They have a tag of being chokers that do not do well in big tournaments, so that would be added pressure on them.

For us, we're going to enjoy the occasion and forget about what happens in previous games. It's a tournament. It's a knockout game. We've been in this situation before and do well and go beyond. So, no pressure is on us. I'm not worried about the record of the previous games. I'm really excited and looking forward to this game tomorrow.

To answer your second question, I think that's a decision for myself, the coach, and the selector on tour to come up with the best 11, that we think, could win the game for us tomorrow.

If it means that we need an extra bowler, then we'll get an extra bowler. If it means we remain with the same team and back our slow bowlers to give us 10 overs, then so be it.

So let's see what happens tomorrow, and I know whatever 11 we put on the pitch, we're going to give a good show of ourselves and make ourselves proud.    

South Africa may field two to three spinners tomorrow. Considering how your team faired against Ashwin and Jadeja at The Oval is the perceived weakness against them a worry? 
No, it's not a concern. We're really looking forward to the spinners of the South African's side. They're different, Jadeja and Ashwin, no disrespect to them, but it's a smaller ground, so that might just help us a bit.  So, yeah, let's see what happens tomorrow.  Hopefully those spinners will not be as effective as Jadeja was in the end game.    

Your memories of playing in Cardiff? 
I only played one game here. It was a warm-up game, and it did not go our way. But it was a good opportunity for us to get a good hit out, and we scored over 250 runs against a good bowling attack and our top four batters did not play in that game, so.

Seems a very good wicket. South Africa and India game played here and both teams scored over 300 runs, so hopefully if we get good conditions tomorrow this can be another big scoring game.  So we'll see.    

Dwayne, you spoke about the IPL earlier, but Chris Morris, we spoke to him before, and he had really good words to say about you. Do you have anything to say about him, and what do you make of Chris? 
He's a fantastic guy. He joined the team late, and he fit in very nicely and all the guys appreciate all the hard work he did. He plays the game very hard, competitive, and I think that's the way all cricketers should play. On the field they play very hard and try to do the best for your country. Whatever team they play for, try to give a hundred percent on the field, relax and have fun.

I'm really looking forward to catching up with him tomorrow. It's nice to see him get the opportunity to represent his country in this format of the game. I know it's something that he always wanted to do, and he got a very good start in the first game, so best of luck and hopefully he can continue the same thing.  It will be good for him as a player.    

Couple of the answers you pointed out that you need to use common sense. Can you elaborate what exactly you mean by that? 
Okay, for those who understand the meaning of common sense, I think it's more like in a game there are times when you need to think on your feet. Meaning, for example, when to go for the big shots. We need all of us, myself included, need to know when to take a risk or when to hold back like if you just lose a wicket. I don't need to play this shot, I need to play this shot.

So that's a bit of common sense.  Knowing when to gamble and when not to gamble.    

You also said when you started off that you're excited about tomorrow. Can you tell us who decided to play the music like you are with the team when you're having a chill out time, nice time?  

Yeah, there was music playing. 
Music is part of our culture.  

There is nothing unusual about that. We always have music. There is music wherever we are. 
Even in our dressing room we play music. We're not the only team that plays music.   We play the right kind of music.    

What difference does it make to you and the team if Steyn is fit tomorrow? 
Not much difference. Like I said before, he's a world class bowler and we respect him, no doubt about that. We're going to embrace the challenge if he's playing and look forward to a great contest. It's going to be nice if he can play and to actually win a game at full strength.

We know he's going to be a handful. We're not going to try to erase that. But like I said, we have the right players in our set‑up to take on any attack that South Africa comes with.    

Is there something specific that you think might give you guys the edge tomorrow? 
Yeah, the small ground, the small, straight boundaries. We are really excited and looking forward to playing here with most of our batters very strong straight down the ground, but, yeah, I think that can actually give us an edge. But at the same time, they also have a good batting lineup and a good seam bowling attack. So we just have to make sure when we come tomorrow we play off our game plan and try to execute it.

At the end of the day, if we do more things right, I think we're going to come out on top. 

Similar Articles