Kraigg Brathwaite: the quiet hero of West Indies cricket that we so often undermine
Kraigg Brathwaite: For someone whose batting can put the most alert man in the stadium to sleep, Kraigg Brathwaite is anything but boring as a batsman.
For someone whose batting can put the most alert man in the stadium to sleep, Kraigg Brathwaite is anything but boring as a batsman.
And that’s not some prophecy; it’s the truth.
The experienced Test match campaigner he’s is the silent guardian of that contingent of West Indies cricket whose guts must be royally appreciated.
And as a matter of fact, it must be said in no uncertain terms that better days may be around the corner for as long as this captain of the red ball team stays at the crease.
For that’s what he’s done from the onset of 2011 until this very recent Test at Perth.
And that is what Kraigg Brathwaite, the only centurion from West Indies stable at Perth, has done ever since he wielded the bat at the highest level.
Not that there haven’t been wrinkles in the much-too-gently ironed cotton shirt of his career.
For a batsman of technical virtuosity and mammoth-size patience, Kraigg Brathwaite is criticised (perhaps rightly so) for being a touch too slow in the five day game.
He’s yet to hit another double hundred ever since his first and only one that came in 2014 against Bangladesh at St. Vincent.
But for all that he hasn’t done, what the calm character of West Indies cricket has in fact, seems to have gone rather under appreciated, if not entirely unappreciated.
If longevity is a virtue, which truth be told, isn’t cliched in the modern game, then Kraigg Brathwaite is that virtue.
And dare one say, it is to West Indies’ good fortune that they’ve got a batsman and skipper as nice skilled and nice as the 30-year-old right hander.
He was once this young and quiet batsman who loved batting for long periods, which is where the Brathwaite’s key modus operandi rests.
Back then, Kraigg Brathwaite was someone who had scored two Test half centuries even before turning 19.
Today, nearly eighty more Tests later, he is still regarded and rightly so.
It was only a few hours back, truth be told, that the dogged right hander crossed the famous 5000- run mark landmark.
And whilst his personal milestone wouldn’t have meant an awful lot given he captained in a losing cause, one must try to give respect where it’s due.
That Kraigg Brathwaite has hit picture perfect off drives, popped one gum too many and still manages to give them critics back softly without there being any unwanted strain is testimony to his patience.
And truth be told, forbearance.
A few days ago when Tiger jr., reached his maiden Test fifty and what a level to score it (Against Australia in Australia), somehow Kraigg Brathwaite managed to made headlines in Caribbean sporting journals.
What? How come?
It was a simple wallpaper-like-image that said Brathwaite was at the other end when Shivnarine Chanderpaul was in the side and playing like a legend he was.
But here’s the most interesting part.
It’s the same man all over again willingly standing on the other end as Chanderpaul’s son Brandon recently made his debut and with it, the quintessential Guyanese resolve.
What may have the Windies captain’s thoughts been?
That darn am growing old and oh no, I’ve lost another game.
It’s abundantly clear that Brathwaite lacks the shenanigans most cricketers base their lives on.
But what Kraigg has, is what is needed to survive at the highest level of the game.
Temerity. Technique. And no, not all of it starts from tea even as the Bajan can bat from the morning session until the end of the day’s play or very capably until the Tea!
Just how often have the Windies side made it to the fifth day of a Test – especially – away from breezy weather and slow caribbean pitches?
That Windies survived if not thrived against a hostile pace attack on a bothersome pitch where big runs came not before one set his eye in was down to Kraigg Brathwaite, the often undersung man’s century.
And he’ll score a lot many with usual gusto and unflinching concentration.
These 5,000 plus runs haven’t come so easy and moreover, haven’t been akin to a walk in the park whilst browsing the phone coyly!
Bat on Kraigg Brathwaite. West Indies cricket needs you to continue to perform.
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