Brathwaite thinks big ahead of second day of second Test
NORTH SOUND – West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite is an individual of few words and he was measured in his assessment of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Antigua.
Brathwaite anchored his side’s batting with an unbeaten 99 and he was poised to end his Test hundred drought, after he carried the Windies to 287 for seven in their first innings at the close on the opening day of the match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
The 28-year-old opener was not perturbed too much about needing one run on the second day to land his ninth Test hundred, but he was more focussed on his side extending their innings and putting the pressure back on the Sri Lankans.
“I feel we lost two wickets too many, but I am still happy with our position,” he told CWI Media in a post-play interview. “I am proud of how the guys fought, but we have to fight fresh on the second day.
“It’s going to be a new day (on Tuesday) and the first hour is going to be crucial for us. We have to try to keep them out in the field for the first session without a wicket.
“Obviously, if we can do that, it will be good, but we have got to go out, start fresh and work hard again.”
On 98, Brathwaite became the 16th West Indies batsman to reach 4,000 runs in Tests, but he has not scored a Test hundred in 38 innings spanning 19 Tests over the past two years and eight months and he will be looking to make that the first order of business when play resumes on Tuesday.
“I am very happy to have reached 4,000 runs, but the most important goal for me was to get through the day for my team,” he said. “Sri Lanka are a disciplined bowling unit, and it was just cashing in on the bad balls for me.
“The ball was not doing much, so rotating the strike as much as possible was important, and it was also just the discipline of letting the ball come to me and that was what worked for me the entire day.”
Brathwaite said he was also happy to see hometown hero Rahkeem Cornwall get runs in the series.
“I know he always had ability to bat, and it is good to see him getting some scores, and I just want to urge him to think big,” Brathwaite said.