Brathwaite summons Bangladesh spirit for SL Test preparationsMonday, March 08, 2021
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC) — Seasoned opener Kraigg Brathwaite wants the same spirit which fuelled the recent Test series victory in Bangladesh to be a part of the preparation for the upcoming two-Test series against Sri Lanka.
The 28-year-old served as stand-in captain for the series after regular skipper Jason Holder opted out of the tour, and will now lead a 13-man squad against Roston Chase's unit in a four-day warm-up match at Coolidge Cricket Ground starting here today.
“Going forward to the Sri Lanka series it's key for us to keep that same attitude we [had] in Bangladesh,” said Brathwaite who drew widespread praise for his handling of the under-strength side on the Asian tour.
“That attitude started from the training and carried over into the games on the field. I thought how we got to the result was the key. We have to maintain that discipline and that mindset.
“This 'Best vs Best' game is something I'm really looking forward to. A number of the players will be looking to get some good performances. It's the right kind of preparation going into a Test series.
Brathwaite's squad comprises the likes of off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva, all-rounder Kavem Hodge, and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul, all of whom were part of the tour of Bangladesh.
Also set to feature is left-hander Shimron Hetmyer and right-hander Shamarh Brooks, who were among 10 players snubbing the Bangladesh tour due to COVID-19 concerns.
Meanwhile, Chase's side includes batsman Jermaine Blackwood, who was vice-captain for the recent Bangladesh series, along with opener John Campbell, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, and Jomel Warrican, who also made the trip.
“It will be an intense game,” Brathwaite said ahead of the contest.
“We have been putting in a lot of work in the nets at Vivian Richards Stadium, and once we keep the attitude of working towards our plans, and we look forward to what is on the horizon — our first Test series on home soil in over a year — there is everything to play for.”
Cornwall, who led West Indies' attack in Bangladesh with 14 wickets, said the four-day match was ideal preparation, especially coming on the heels of the recent series win.
“We had a great series in Bangladesh and I'm looking forward to this upcoming series against Sri Lanka,” said the 28-year-old, whose nine-wicket haul earned West Indies a dramatic 17-run win in the second Test in Dhaka.
“To beat them on their home turf was great. We worked really hard to get those two wins. It's a great feeling when you win. Test cricket is hard…and you feel a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment when you get the best results.
“We have been putting in a lot of work in the nets as part of the preparation and this match, starting Monday with the 'Best vs Best' will be the ideal kind of start we need. The energy is there and everyone backs their teammates.”
With no first-class cricket played in the region since last year March, the match will also be a chance for fringe players to impress selectors ahead of the naming of the Test squad for the March 21 to April 2 series at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.
SQUAD A – Kraigg Brathwite (captain), Shamarh Brooks, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Derval Green, Keon Harding, Shimron Hetmyer, Kavem Hodge, Paul Palmer jr, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieran Powell, Preston McSween, Jayden Seales.
SQUAD B – Roston Chase (captain), Sunil Ambris, Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, John Campbell, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Imran Khan, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Nial Smith, Jomel Warrican.
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