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Gifted Darren keen to chart his path at top level

cricket Updated: Jun 12, 2011 20:14 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times
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The applause from the packed ground used to be reserved for his illustrious predecessor. But despite being a left-hander like Brian Lara and possessing the same flourish in his back lift, Darren Bravo wants to chalk his own path.

The 22-year-old will have to play way beyond his experience to give the hosts the upper hand in the one-day series, which starts at the Queen's Park Oval, a venue where he took his first steps in the game as a six-year-old.

On Saturday, as the West Indies fought to shake off the shackles imposed by India's spinners in the Twenty20 defeat, Darren (41) and Marlon Samuels (27) kept up the fight.

With more time to play himself in, Darren could well be the more vital of the two Bravo brothers — all-rounder Dwayne returns for the ODIs after missing the T20 clash — to tackle India's spinners.

Watching Lara as he grew up has helped shape his game. But he can cut down on the style and apply himself as well, as his patient 24 and 50 in the St Kitts second Test defeat against Pakistan showed.

Skipper Darren Sammy has repeatedly been calling for his batsmen to show self-belief. And he believes Darren is the future of the West Indies.

"He is one of our bright prospects, like Devendra Bishoo (leg-spinner). Exposure for such youngsters is making the future look bright for us as a cricketing nation.

“He is very strong mentally. He may play shots like Brian, but he wants to be known as Darren Bravo and go out there and work hard for the team.

“And he knows that he could be the next big batsman from the West Indies and wants to take his batting forward,” said the skipper.