Bradshaw looking to dry up runs in Tests too
In ODIs, he was the leading bowler for Windies, claiming the likes of Dravid, Yuvraj and Sehwag.Updated: May 31, 2006 18:17 IST
Having tied the free-scoring Indian batsmen to a knot in the one-day series, West Indian seamer Ian Bradshaw is hoping to repeat his success in the four-Test series starting with the first here on Friday.
Bradshaw belongs to that breed of bowlers who rely on their uncanny ability to dry up the runs and force the batsmen into mistakes.
"I like to give away nothing. Batters like to score runs and I see my job as one who is trying to prevent that from happening. Once you are able to do it, you have begun to win the battle," said the left-arm paceman who not only stifled the run-scoring of the Indians but also always managed to inflict early damage in the one-day series.
Bradshaw finished with nine wickets from four matches and was clearly the leading bowler for the West Indies, claiming the likes of Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag.
Now with Corey Collymore most likely to sit out because of injury he sustained in the final one-dayer, Bradshaw has a real chance of adding yet another Test to his tally of three matches.
In trying to define his style of bowling, Bradshaw likes to evoke a comparison with somebody like Anil Kumble of India.
"You could say my philosophy towards the game is the same as the one of Anil Kumble or Glen McGrath or Joel Garner or Curtly Ambrose. I like to wear them down," he said.
"I have been realistic about myself. I know my limitations but I also realise that there are number of bowlers in international cricket who have done well by trying to be steady and consistent," Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw acknowledges that his career might have taken a long time in taking off because of world's obsession for men with extra pace.
"If a guy has the gift of pace, natural raw pace, it is not something which can be ignored. No batsman is comfortable with it. The world is always searching for those guys.
"But I guess I must have done something alright. There are not many cricketers in the world who make their one-day debut at the age of 28-29 and the Test one at 31."
For Bradshaw, the motivation in his career has been in trying to make it to the Barbados team which has traditionally been the strongest in the Caribbean region.
"Barbados traditionally has been a very, very strong team. Competition for places has helped and continued to motivate me. It has made me a better cricketer."
Bradshaw said that in trying to bowl those batsmen in Barbados who are always coming at you, he learnt to bowl with control and discipline.
"Bowling to those guys in Barbados forced me to develop some measure of control.
"It has surely helped me. I have bowled to a number of top players and I don't think anyone has handled me roughly. I don't think I have been embarrassed."
Even though he makes extensive use of technology, Bradshaw feels that it is not right to go to the match with any preconceived notions.
"I study technology for there is no harm in learning, in trying to bowl the opposition out. It is better to be as prepared as possible.
"But you don't want to end up over-analysing the situation. It takes away your creativity, natural aggression. Cricket is played on park, handled on park."
Bradshaw described himself as a bowler who is trying to make good use of the seam all the time.
"I rely more on seam than anything else. I am not a swing bowler. I try to build pressure on batsmen and then look for areas of deficiency where I can work upon.
"It's important to fit in with the natural flow of the game. It's not right to go in and try to do what you want to do rather than fit in with the flow."
Bradshaw said he stayed in the game for so long simply because he loved the cricket and valued a place in the Barbados team as an honour.
"I never chased the West Indies dream. For me staying in Barbados, playing for them was the single biggest motivation factor.
"You can't survive on cricket if you play first-class cricket in Barbados. I was also helped by an employer who allowed me to have some sort of balance between my cricket and job. It taught me discipline and the art of time management," he said.
Bradshaw closes with a note on Rahul Dravid and how much an education it was to watch him score that hundred in the first one-dayer in Sabina Park a couple of weeks ago.
"It was a brilliantly paced innings. The way he controlled the flow, manoeuvred the ball, always calm and assured, never panicking was an education on how you can keep your goals in front of your eyes even when things are happening around you.
"You still are able to see clearly what is good for your team. I learnt from that," he added.
First Published: May 31, 2006 18:17 IST