Bravo Looks To Hit The Ground
Running At Notts
Comment and Analysis | 17th August 2011
As a fellow Trinidadian and left-handed batsman, it is no surprise that Darren Bravo grew up with Brian Lara as the player he worshipped.
Now, at the age of 22, the West Indies middle order player has the chance to follow his hero into county cricket with an end-of-season spell at Notts.
Lara, of course, became something of a nemesis to English bowlers, twice setting a world best Test score against them with innings of 375 and 400 not out.
Playing for Warwickshire, he also hammered another record, for the highest first class innings, with 501 not out against Durham.
Bravo's aims on arriving at Trent Bridge are understandably altogether less ambitious.
But if he can hit the ground running with a glut of runs in his four County Championship games for his adopted county, he knows it will stand him in good stead for his hopes of cementing a place in the West Indies batting line-up.
Bravo – who has replaced Australian Adam Voges – has been given some time to find his feet, playing in two CB 40 games, against Glamorgan last Friday and Somerset on Monday, since jetting in from the Caribbean.
But now comes what is, for Notts, the bread and butter of the County Championship, where Mick Newell's men still need points to be assured of safety, starting with today's clash against Somerset at Taunton.
"I'm very excited about playing my first Championship game in these sort of conditions," said Bravo.
"I played in England briefly last year for the West Indies A against England Lions (scoring 62 at Worcester) and India A (scoring 83 at Leicester), but that was 50-over cricket.
"Looking at the game on television between England and India, you can see that the ball moves around that much more than what I am used to back home.
"But I have to back my defence, while still trying to be as positive as I can.
"I believe I have to play my natural game and not change my technique too much. Some people say I have the capacity to stick around, while others say I am pretty attacking.
"But talking to my coach back home I know that the key to doing well in England is to occupy the crease. Then the runs will come.
"It's a case of adapting to the situation considering the state of the wicket and the game and I would back myself to be able to do that.
"I think playing international cricket for much of the last year will have helped with that. It has given me some level of experience."
Bravo knew that coming to play for Notts for such a short space of time was always going to be a tough ask.
But the man who averages 39.84 with five six half centuries in his eight Test match appearances hopes this is just the start.
Bravo, whose half-brother Dwayne is a fellow West Indies international, said: "It is going to be difficult, a challenge, but I would rather be coming here for a few games than none at all.
"The team have given me a lot of respect and I have tried to give them the same. I have settled in quite quickly.
"And I would love to contribute some runs and help Notts move up the rankings so that they see I might be worth another contract in the future."
With England having just moved to number one in the Test rankings, Bravo is well aware that he could well be facing Notts duo Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and the rest.
"Playing here can only help me ahead of the West Indies' tour here next summer, he said.
"I want to test myself in these conditions where there are good bowlers around."
With only a month of the season to go, scoring just a fraction of the runs the legendary Lara managed during his time in England would sate Bravo and Notts.
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