Kraigg Brathwaite was one of the heroes for the West Indies when they defeated England in the 2017 Headingley Test. He had scored 134 and 95 as West Indies completed an incredible fourth innings chase to seal an unlikely win. Also Read - Ben Stokes-Led England Announce 13-Man Squad For 1st Test vs West Indies, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali Miss Out
However, he has since undergone a slump in form, failing to score even a half century in 20 innings. Brathwaite is nevertheless part of the West Indies squad that will play England in three Tests in what will be the first top-level cricket competition since the sport came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic in March. Also Read - Sam Curran Tests Negative For COVID-19, Confirms ECB
“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 to the challenge,” Brathwaite told reporters on Wednesday. Also Read - Joe Root Set to Miss First Test Against West Indies: Report
The 27-year-old said that he had spoken to batting great Desmond Haynes before leaving for England.
“I had some words with Sir Desmond back in Barbados,” said Brathwaite.
“We’ve always had a relationship, he was team manager of the Barbados team when I first started, so I had some chats with him. He was an opener as well so it was beneficial for me.
“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,” he added
The first Test will be played from July 8 at the Old Trafford, which currently serves as the West Indies’ training base. The matches will be played in bio-secure environments and new rules formulated by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the resumption of cricket amid the pandemic will be applicable.
(With agency inputs)