(Barbados Nation) The fire is still burning in the bosom of enthusiastic all-rounder Dwayne Bravo.
Bravo, who has replaced injured wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin as West Indies’ vice-captain for the five-match Digicel One-Day International Cricket Series against Australia starting in St Vincent, tomorrow, says he will do all he can to drive the team towards success in the upcoming matches.
“We have a very young team and, as one of the senior players, I have to step in and make my presence felt. The fire is still blazing in me. I will be bringing the same level of enthusiasm and commitment that I always had. That is the only way I know how to play, by giving my all to the team,” he said after a training session at Arnos Vale Cricket Ground yesterday.
Bravo, who missed the away tours to Bangladesh and India late last year, is making a return to the team after an absence of more than six months and said he was delighted to be wearing the maroon shirt and representing the people of the West Indies.
“It is special to be back on the team for a series in the Caribbean, where most of my fans are and where I get a lot of support. I’m looking to make this year a big year. I want to make 2012 my year,” he added.
Bravo is now in his ninth year at the international level and has so far played 117 ODIs making 1 910 runs and taking 136 wickets. He has led the West Indies before – including one Test match – against South Africa at Durban in January 2008 and said he was happy to be named vice-captain.
“When I was asked to do the job, I happily accepted. As vice-captain, I know I have a very important job to do. My job is to support captain Darren Sammy and work alongside him, and help my teammates and put in those major performances for the team.”
Meanwhile, rookie off-spinner Sunil Narine believes he is learning quickly and says his first taste of international cricket last December when he played two ODIs against India has put him in good stead to face the Aussies.
“When I played in India last year I got a feel for the atmosphere at international level. It was great. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to play in front of West Indian fans,” the 23-year-old Trinidadian said.
“I learned a lot when I played those matches in India. I got to realize that at this level there is little room for error and your bad balls will be punished. The good players will punish you, and as a bowler you never want to be playing catchup.”
He added: “You have to be on top of your game from ball one, so my aim is always to make sure that when I take the field I’m mentally and physically up to the challenge. At this level of the game you have to be at your best at all times. There is no place to hide.”
He has been in superb form for Trinidad and Tobago in the first-class season, already snaring a tournament-leading 31 wickets from just three matches.
“Things have gone well for me . . . over the last week in the camp and I’m feeling good about the way I’m bowling,” he pointed out.
“The ball is coming out really nicely and I’m in the right shape both mentally and physically. [The game] did not start out too well for me . . . I was not that good in my first spell, but I put that behind, had a rethink, and came back strong in my second spell.”