India vs West Indies | Batting has Improved But Need to Close Out Games: Brathwaite

With the series at 1-0 with just one game to go, West Indies will extend their winless series streak in ODIs to over five years. But all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite believes that the performance against England earlier this year will boost the side ahead of the third and final ODI in Port of Spain.

“We drew the last series against England at home as well,” the 31-year-old said at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday (August 13).

“And then going into the last game it’s for us to get the batting in order – if we get good starts going into the back end that’ll give us a good chance. I think the batting has much improved especially since the T20s and from the overall batting performance in the World Cup as well. But, we didn’t close it off. We batted well in the second game as well, it was about closing it off – hopefully that happens in the next game as well and for the lower half to close the game.”

Having won just 14 games since the start of May 2019, Brathwaite reckons that the lack of consistency stems from the side not being able to execute their skills, especially at pivotal moments. He referenced the World Cup and the second ODI as examples.

“I don’t think we are that far away. We just continue to miss key points in the game. If we look back at the World Cup it is the same thing. If we look at the game the other day we weren’t cruising, but we were in a good position, and then we lost three or four quick wickets. We are just missing a few key moments that could have turned one or two loses into wins and make us look a little better, give us a little momentum, and start to try to win series more consistently.

“I think if you ask the guys in the dressing room if they believe they can win – I think they do believe they can win. The execution of that belief is lacking in key moments like I said. So, I don’t think it’s a lack of belief or a lack of passion and in most cases it’s not even a lack of skill, but just executing what we want to execute the key moments of the game, which was the case in majority of the World Cup and this series so far,” he said.

Brathwaite also revealed that he has been working on his fitness over the past year and has been trying to rework his approach with the bat.

“I think one thing that’s kept me back is my fitness. I am working very, very hard in the past 12 to 14 months on my fitness – I believe I can get a bit stronger as well. I think batting-wise I have to reprogram my thinking in thinking about hitting and swiping and batting properly. I think there has been a conscious effort for me to try to help the team as a batsman and a bowler and try to give myself the best chance for the team and try to help West Indies win cricket games.”

“The challenge for me is that that situation won’t always present itself. Obviously, being at home, we have changed the combination a bit. There I played at seven (six), here at eight, nine or maybe seven – the thing I take away from that innings is the way I structured and built the innings which allowed me to kick off at the back end.”