Kolkata: Describing Shivnarine Chanderpaul as 'someone special' to the West Indies side, Darren Bravo Thursday said the most-capped Caribbean Test player makes the batsman's job easier in the middle. "He's someone very special. He means a lot to the team.
We know what he brings to the table. We just want to wish him best of luck in the series," Bravo said of Chanderpaul, who struck an unbeaten 91 to help his side post a commanding 333/4 against the UPCA in a three-day practice match, here. Chanderpaul has already eclipsed Courtney Walsh as the most-capped West Indies player and would be eyeing his 150th Test cap in Mumbai, which will host legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar's 200th and last Test.
Bravo said West Indies players happily seek Chanderpaul's advice whenever they want and look to build their innings around him. "He's the most experienced player in the side. Whenever a youngster or any player needs some sort of advice, you can go and ask him any question. He's happy to help. While batting also, he makes it easier at the other end. It's great to have him around. Hope to have him for a long time as well."
Bravo hit a fluent 61 in a 112-run second wicket stand with Kieran Powell and the former said he was happy to be back among runs in the longer version after an eye surgery six months back. "To be honest, this was my first competitive game with the red ball since my eye surgery. I've not played any competitive games with red ball since my eye surgery. It was good to spend some time out there in the middle.
"I grew in confidence once I started hitting my shots. I hope it would be a special series for me and the whole West Indies team. Having said that, I want to make sure that my game is going in the right way before the first Test," Bravo added. Four West Indies batters including Narsingh Deonarine, Kieran Powell, who toured India last with the A side, struck half-centuries and Bravo said the exposure trip was helpful.
"Well, it's a totally different team that represented the A side. But there are a few players like Narsing Deonarine, Kirk Edwards and Kieran Powell who performed well. It's always good to spend time in the middle. We are looking forward to the Test series. It's a huge one. We are just keeping our fingers crossed," Bravo said.
Asked about the Jadavpur University Saltlake Campus ground that hosted an International team for the first time, Bravo said: "Open ground experience...I believe it's a fantastic venue to play cricket. It was also good to see a lot of fans came here to support us. It's a wonderful venue. Hope to be here again in the future."
Bravo, however, was of the opinion that the wicket was a bit on the slower side but they're happy to get used to the conditions. "The wicket is a bit slow, especially when you put the ball back on the length, it's stopping a bit. But it's important to get used to the conditions."