Seeking to put the humiliating Test-series defeat behind them, West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo on Wednesday said his team is more comfortable and confident in playing the limited-overs format as it gives them freedom to express themselves.
“This format (ODIs) gives us more freedom. In Tests, it is about balance of skills and other things. It is a different story altogether here. The Test series loss is behind us now.”
“We see ourselves more comfortable with this format and more confident too,” Bravo told reporters on the eve of first one-dayer in Kochi.
Bravo, who joined the team for the ODI series, said they are aware of the challenge in front of them, and is expecting his players to put their best foot forward.
“We are aware of playing the world champions. We respect their strengths but at the same time we know as to what we need to do to win matches. It is not going to be easy. We will represent ourselves well in the coming one day series,” he said.
The recent matches against Australia witnessed totals over 300 being scored frequently, and Bravo said he would want his bowlers to bowl better than their Indian counterparts.
“It happened in different conditions and different venues and different bowlers as well. So, our bowlers are mostly in different mould of talents. If we can bowl better in this series than India, it will be better for us.”
“I think ODIs and T20s give you more freedom. One player could be turn out to be a match winner. That is why this format is rather easy for us for playing, be it against India or Sri Lanka. As long as you play smart in a 50-over match, then one could win the series,” the all-rounder said.
While the Caribbean side possess genuine quickies like Ravi Rampaul and Tino Best, Bravo wants his bowlers to not only look for pace but mix up their deliveries to get success in the Indian conditions.
“It is good we have two good fast bowlers in our ranks. They are used to bowling at 140 and above. But, here in India, there are small fields and batting friendly pitches. One has to display his skills, and not bowl with too much pace. Most of the guys who with bowl sheer pace haven’t been successful,” Bravo said.
Bravo, who was appointed the ODI captain earlier this year, said he would like to emulate his India opposite number Mahendra Singh Dhoni — under whom he plays in the Indian Premier League.
“Most of the West Indian and Indian players have been together playing in IPL for different team. We are definitely going all out to give our best for our country. As a new captain, I will certainly try and emulate Dhoni in certain ways,” the 30-year-old said.
Asked about the slump in West Indian cricket in the recent years, Bravo said sufficient opportunities should be given to the youngsters to showcase their talent.
“There are ups and downs in every player’s performance. As a team we have not been consistent and our senior players were not playing. But, now we have a new and young team and when there are changes in the team, there are more challenges.”
“We need to get one group of players and give them chances as long as possible. Definitely, it is going to change. We have the talent to do it,” he explained.
On sub-continent tracks, a potent spin attack is going to be crucial for the visitors, and Bravo said the team will not only rely on Shane Shillingford but on other tweakers amongst its rank.
“Shane has been tested since the New Zealand tour, and he has been there long before now. We expect the individual players to be in readiness and they are so. Shane has already passed the test regarding his action. As for Marlon he is going to be useful in this series,” he said.
Asked about an Indian team without its recently-retired batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, Bravo said, “Sachin has not been playing one day cricket for long. There are replacement players in the Indian team now perhaps since the world cup win by India. I do not think that his absence will affect Indian cricket as the others are there now.”