Brathwaite summons Bangladesh spirit for Sri Lanka Test prep
ST. JOHN’S – Seasoned opener Kraigg Brathwaite wants the same spirit that fuelled the recent Test series victory in Bangladesh to be a part of the preparation for the upcoming two-Test series against Sri Lanka.
Brathwaite served as stand-in captain for the series after regular skipper Jason Holder opted out of the tour and drew widespread praise for his handling of an under-strength side on the Tour.
He will lead a 13-member squad against Roston Chase’s unit in a four-day warm-up match, starting Monday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.
“Going forward to the Sri Lanka series, it’s key for us to keep that same attitude we had in Bangladesh,” Brathwaite said.
“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 payers will be looking to get some good performances. It’s the right kind of preparation going into a Test series.”
Brathwaite’s squad includes players such as off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua da Silva, batsman and part-time left-arm spinner 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 that snubbed the Tour of Bangladesh because of COVID-19 concerns.
Chase’s side includes batsman Jermaine Blackwood, who was vice-captain for the Bangladesh series, along with opener John Campbell, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer and Jomel Warrican, all of whom made the trip to Bangladesh.
“It will be an intense game,” Brathwaite said ahead of the practice match. “We have been putting in a lot of work in the nets at Vivian Richards Cricket Ground (VRCG) 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,” the 28-year-old said.
“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 team-mates.”
With no first-class cricket played in the Caribbean since March last year, the match will also be a chance for fringe players to impress selectors ahead of the naming of the Test squad.
The two Tests will be played from March 21 to 25 and March 29 to April 2 at the VRCG.
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.