Carlos Brathwaite, the West Indies all-rounder, wants to "reprogramme" his thought process while batting to hit proper shots and avoid giving away his wicket.
Brathwaite has struggled with his batting form in the series against India, recording scores of 9, 10 and 0 across formats. His form has been reflected in the team's results so far: they have lost four straight games.
Brathwaite is focused on getting it right with the willow now, in time for the final one-day international against India on Wednesday, 14 August. "I think batting-wise I have to reprogramme my thinking about hitting and swiping and batting properly," he told reporters on the eve of the game.
Last 10 completed #WIvIND ODI results:— ICC (@ICC) August 13, 2019
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"We are having a lot of honest conversations with the coaches and the staff and I think one thing that's kept me back is my fitness. I am working very, very hard in the past 12 to 14 months on my fitness – I believe I can get a bit stronger as well."
One of Brathwaite's most memorable innings recently came in ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019, when he smashed an 82-ball 101 to take West Indies to within a whisker away from victory against New Zealand. However, he lost his wicket in an attempt to hit a match-winning six in the penultimate over, and the Windies fell short by five runs.
He believes the chance to bat himself into the game helped bring out his best that day. "I had a lot of time to bat. I had a clear thought process," he said about the knock. "I was working very hard off the pitch, as I am now, with the bat, in trying to do the right things and the simple things as long as possible.
"I had enough time so I could play myself in getting so at the back end when I normally come in to bat to start my innings I already had [faced] 40-50 balls. The challenge for me is that that situation won't always present itself.
"[In the India series,] being at home, we have changed the combination a bit. There I played at seven [six], here at eight, nine or maybe seven – the thing I take away from that [New Zealand] innings is the way I structured and built the innings which allowed me to kick off at the back end."
We are just missing a few key moments that could have turned one or two loses into wins
While West Indies have not won a game in the series so far, there was a period in the second ODI when they threatened to chase the 280-run target. With the first ODI washed out, the hosts still have a chance to come out of the series with a draw if they get a result in the final game on Sunday.
"I don't think we are that far away," Brathwaite insisted. "We are just missing a few key moments that could have turned one or two loses into wins and [made] us look a little better, give us a little momentum, and start to try to win series more consistently.
"We drew the last series against England at home as well," he added. "And then going into the last game it's for us to get the batting in order – if we get good starts going into the back end, that'll give us a good chance."
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