West Indies’ newly appointed Test captain has hailed his predecessor for doing a “superb job”
Holder, who became captain in 2015, led West Indies in 37 Tests before opting out of the recent tour of Bangladesh amid concerns over Covid-19. Brathwaite led a depleted West Indies side to an unexpected 2-0 Test series win, following which CWI gave him the captaincy full-time, with lead selector Roger Harper contending that he “was able to motivate his players to play to a very high level and create the culture we are looking to establish where the team showed a collective determination to fight and a real hunger for success.”
Ahead of the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, which begins on March 21 in Antigua, Brathwaite hailed his predecessor, who remains a key member of the West Indies side as one of the world’s premier allrounders.
“I just want to thank god for giving me this opportunity, and also want to say I thought Jason Holder did a superb job leading the Test team for the last five years, so obviously taking over from him is a privilege,” Brathwaite said. “I was very happy [to be made captain], obviously very proud, and I look forward to the challenge.”
Speaking about the Bangladesh tour, Brathwaite said he had tried to help the young players in the West Indies team back their own ability.
“Well, I really enjoyed that tour,” he said. “For me, I just made sure I let the guys know, to believe in themselves and believe in their ability. I’ve played youth cricket with most of those guys, and if not, first-class cricket for a number of years, so I know the ability they have. Just assured them that they can do it.
“Just trust in your plans and believe in them, and prepare well. The word attitude is always key, and I thought we did that well, and it’s important for us as a team to continue that same attitude.”
On his own batting, Brathwaite said he had been working on his balance against fast bowling in the lead-up to the Sri Lanka series.
“The more you’re balanced, the better your shots, and that was something important for me,” he said. “I also went about planning even better, in terms of how I want to go about my innings, and topping up on power. But mainly getting my balance in order, and backing yourself. You always have plans, and it’s to really trust them, that was the key for me. Planning was very very important.”