Brathwaite admits post-World T20 spotlight 'challenging'

Carlos Brathwaite spoke about the change in his life after a surreal final over in the World T20 final, and the challenges ahead in the IPL season.

Sharing the West Indian dressing room with the likes of Chris Gayle and Darren Sammy in the World T20 has enriched Carlos Brathwaite.   -  K. R. Deepak

Carlos Brathwaite, who won many fans by hitting four consecutive sixes and helping West Indies beat England in the World T20 final here, was back at the Eden Gardens donning Delhi Daredevils colours before DD’s first Indian Premier League (IPL) match of the season against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Brathwaite spoke about the change in his life after that sensational performance and the challenges ahead.

Excerpts:

IPL is a low intensity event compared to World T20. Coming to terms with it?

I won’t say it is a low intensity tournament. It has been a bit of a challenge in terms of constant interviews and reliving the four sixes each and every day. So it has been a challenge to get off the hype that I have been on. In the last couple of days we have been training to get distractions out of the way and train hard with the Delhi Daredevils teammates to be in the mental space and capacity to give a hundred percent on the field.

Same wicket being used against KKR – is it a psychological advantage?

If you look at it as a psychological advantage then it can be a disadvantage as well since it is the same ground and same fans but at the same time is a completely different tournament, different game and a different team with different set of oppositions that deserve respect. We need to react to what is done on the day as opposed to try and live in the past and hoping it happens again.

How many sixes do you want to hit in this IPL?

It is something that the Delhi Daredevils require of me and which I would want to do for them. I would want to come on top and if that requires me hitting one six or doing it by singles, I am prepared to do that for the franchise.

Where would you like to bat?

I will bat wherever the team requires and if the team decides that they need to use me at a particular number then I need to adapt to that position and do the best I can for my team. If the situation asks me to bat in the same way that I do for the West Indies then I also need to adapt to that and do what I need to do. It is about adapting all the time to make sure that the Delhi Daredevils come out on top in each and every game.

Are you learning from the World Cup and transferring it to IPL?

I shared the dressing room with Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo - the guys that have been on the T20 circuit for a few years and have been successful. Just being able to watch those guys train and prepare themselves and the way they pick themselves up from bad performance and enjoy the good performances was a lesson for me. It was a pleasure to be in their presence as well and I just hope that I can take what I learn and match it with what I know already. More importantly you need to use that to good effect to be successful for the Delhi Daredevils and then to influence the youngsters inside the Delhi dressing room.

How are you handling this new fame and rise to stardom?

I would be honest and say that it has been a bit of a challenge. I had time management problems to begin with making sure that I did all the interviews and commitments are done. It has been a challenge but now I am aware of the challenges that this new stardom has brought me and it something that I look forward to if I continue to be successful and it is something that I need to cope with. Hopefully it will get better in the near future.

Do you think that every time four sixes won’t happen?

Some days you will be at the receiving end and some days you get along. As I said, experiencing those guys in the dressing room, they do not have very high peaks and very low drops. They go through the same kind of preparation and it is the same mental space. You have to know what you can do be at the best of your abilities, then the result takes care of itself. Sometimes the results are negative and at times positive, you just need to back your preparation and back your process.

What would you want to take back after the end of the IPL?

The title is one of the many important things and hopefully I can take that. I am privileged enough to come into the team as a World Cup winner and be able to take some lessons and I hope I impact a youngster in the dressing room. I also find myself privileged enough to be working along with someone I have idolised all my career and that is Rahul Dravid.

We had a couple of chats and it is good to hear from him as a person and as a player on what are the areas that I would look to improve on in terms of playing spin and I spoke to Rahul about (it). I hope that at the end of six weeks I go back to the West Indies with better understanding of how to play spin bowling and how to rotate it and how to score off it and how to take that knowledge from the IPL back to the West Indies.

How do you see T20 as a career building option?

Personally I do love Test cricket and I enjoy watching the boring parts of Test cricket - a batsman batting out long periods of time and then overcoming that to score a hundred. I take each facet of the game in each format at its best. T20 is a good spectator sport as well but then there is Test cricket where you get to test yourself against the values of the format - like facing a barrage of bouncers and getting past that, taking a few knocks and playing the swinging ball and seeing though a good spell to capitalise and get a hundred. As a bowler bowling a ten over spell to go on for another two overs just to bring the team back into the game.

I think all three facets has its place within the sport and I enjoy being a part of all three. The better cricketers in the world are able to adapt from T20 to fifty overs to Test cricket and it is a challenge that I set myself - to be able to play all three formats and be successful in all three.

How many interviews you have done so far?

Cannot count, but for the stage that it happened on, everyone wanted to know what was going through my mind and what I was thinking at that point of time and how I did it. I am just trying to facilitate as much people as possible. Hope I didn’t miss anyone. I just tried to do as much as I could within the time frame.

Point to prove with Delhi Daredevils is a motivation?

I honestly believe you always have something to prove. If you are the defending champions, then next year you have to prove that it wasn’t a fluke. If you weren’t doing well before then you have to prove that you are good enough to be here. I personally believe that you always have something to prove.

I don’t want to say that we will take the past and use it as strength but together as a team we are aware that we didn’t have a good recent past. We need to find our strategies as a team to do better in the present and the near future rather than using the previous editions as a sole motivation. It will be used as a motivation, but there are other parts and other motivating factors. As a team we need to concentrate on those motivating factors for this team’s success.