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|Rejuvenated Bravo eyes Test return|
KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – After an extended period out of Test cricket, energetic all-rounder Dwayne Bravo says he is keen on regaining his spot in the West Indies side for the game’s longest version.
The 28-year-old has featured in the shorter formats of the game but has not played a Test in nearly 18 months because of loss of form.
“I still have a lot to achieve. It’s beyond my control but I’m available to play all forms of the game and we’ll just see how it goes after these five ODIs,” Bravo told a media conference.
“Hopefully something will happen. If not, I’ll continue pushing and pressing for my spot.”
Bravo has played 40 Tests but has not worn whites for the Windies since the rain-affected tour of Sri Lanka in December, 2010.
In the last eight Tests dating back to 2009, he managed a century and two half-centuries and took 13 wickets, as the side’s marquee all-rounder.
A self-imposed break last year has seen him return to the side rejuvenated and the Trinidadian said he was now enjoying his cricket.
“(I’m under) no pressure. I am able to perform once my mind is at ease and I’m happy and relaxed, and am able to express myself and enjoy my cricket,” he explained.
“Since I’ve taken the break and come back, you can see a lot of difference in the way I play now and how I was playing a year ago. I’m relaxed now and happy. I understand my role in the team
Once I’m happy and comfortable the performances will take care of themselves. I’m reaping the rewards now. I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work. I had a very good IPL and the form that I gained from the IPL I’m trying to bring it back here into the regional team.”
Appointed vice-captain of the side, Bravo has worn the responsibility well, producing solid performances with both bat and ball.
He got 77 against England in the second ODI last month – his first half-century in two years – and also reeled off an unbeaten 54 in the one-off Twenty20 International at Nottingham.
Bravo’s return to the side was followed last month by that of talismanic opener Chris Gayle who had been sidelined for nearly 15 months owing to a squabble with the West Indies Cricket Board.
Bravo told reporters Gayle’s presence was a definite boost to the Caribbean side.
“Which team would not welcome Chris? He is the best player in the world in this format of the game. All of us respect him a lot and we’re happy to have him in our set-up,” Bravo said.
“It is good to see the problem was solved and he is able to represent the West Indies again. I know Chris personally and I know he wanted to be a part of West Indies cricket … he still has a lot to achieve in his international career. I’m just happy he’s back playing and also performing.”
West Indies face New Zealand in five ODIs starting here today before engaging in a two-Test series against the Black Caps.
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