Bravo: Everyone can be a champion

"I enjoy batting, enjoy my cricket and look to entertain the fans."

West Indies star Dwayne Bravo at the launch of his own version of the World Cup anthem called 'Champion'.   -  Prashant Nakwe

>Dwayne Bravo is upbeat after the West Indies hit the right notes against Australia in a warm-up match at Kolkata. “To win any tournament, you need to beat the best. Australia is always the favourite in any competition. You need to bring out the A game.”

The all-rounder spoke about his role in the West Indies squad at the ongoing T20 World Cup. He was talking on the sidelines of an event to launch his song titled ‘Champion’, referring to the various figures whose feats inspired him from childhood - Nelson Mandela to Serena Williams, Barack Obama to Jamaican reggae artist Beenie Man.

Excerpts

Each T20 World Cup has produced a new champion. Have teams have been street smart or is there any other reason?

Street smart is the right term to describe winning teams in T20. Having said that, I would like the West Indies to win for the second time (T20 World Cup 2012 was the first time). Marlon Samuels, in form then, is at the top of his game now.



Champion teams emerge when a group of players play for each other and the captain brings out the best in them. How would you rate the West Indies squad?

We grew up together, are very close to each other and it helps in a big tournament like this. West Indies won the U-19 World Cup. A victory here will mean two World Cups in the same year.



You are listed among top five batsmen to have hit sixes in T20 World Cups (22 sixes in 23 appearances). Do you love putting the fear in bowlers?

Batting in T20 is not about frightening bowlers. When I come to bat lower down the order, situations demand that I clear the ropes. I don’t go into the match looking to hit long. I enjoy batting, enjoy my cricket and look to entertain the fans.



Bowlers continue to look down the barrel in T20. Do you ever think this format will help bowlers win matches on their own?

Twenty20 format is designed for batsmen. For bowlers, the challenge is be clever. I like to bowl at the death. I want to make those six balls count. I have a plan in mind bowling the final over, what happens out there depends on the batsman facing me and the match venue.



Will this song be part of West Indies celebrations in this World Cup? What do these names of people mentioned in the song mean to you?

Each time I get a wicket, I will celebrate to the beat of this song. Nelson Mandela was my inspiration as a child. Beenie Man is now a close friend. I realise music is hard work and my appreciation of musicians has grown.