England vs West Indies: Out-of-form Kraigg Brathwaite to keep things simple

The opener says he would try to follow the advice of former opener Desmond Haynes to get back to form in the three-Test series against England.

Important task ahead: Kraigg Brathwaite arrives at the Manchester airport on June 9. - GETTY IMAGES

Out-of-form West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite said there was “no added pressure” on him ahead of next month’s Test series against England and that he would try to follow former opener Desmond Haynes’ advice of keeping things simple.

The 27-year-old, who has 3,496 runs under his belt in 59 Tests, scored 134 and 95 in the Headingley Test in 2017 but failed to score a half-century in the last 20 innings in almost two years. Before departing for England, Brathwaite consulted former opener Haynes and said he was up for the challenge that lies ahead.

'No added pressure'

 “There’s no added pressure. I know my role, it’s just to go out there and focus on each ball and building that foundation for the team. Obviously, the batting didn’t do that well the last couple innings, but I’m ready to go. I’m up [for] the challenge,” Brathwaite told reporters on Wednesday.

 “I had some words with Sir Desmond back in Barbados. We’ve always had a relationship. He was team manager of the Barbados team when I first started. It was a lot about keeping it simple, not over-complicating things too much. Spending time is crucial in Test cricket and it’s important for any batsman.”

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Brathwaite said he was focussed on “doing his job” of providing the team a good start in each innings of the three-Test series.  “I’m just looking to do my job, which is opening, getting the shine off the new ball and building that foundation for the guys to follow...if every innings I can do that, it will put the team in a good position,” he said.

“I’ve got six innings, potentially, on this tour and I’m aiming to do my job in all six.”

'Lovely place'

Brathwaite said he didn’t want to dwell on his heroics in the Headingley Test. “Obviously, that’s almost three years ago, but looking back at some footage, you obviously can see things you did well, but that’s history,” he said.

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 “I think England is a lovely place to play cricket. You get value for your runs. It can be challenging at some periods but the outfield is always fast. The pitches can be challenging, but I really enjoy playing in England.”

The series begins with the opening Test at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on July 8 behind closed doors.

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