“Looking forward to challenging ourselves”- Brathwaite urges team to forget about Australia and Zimbabwe series ahead of first South Africa Test

By Sports Desk February 27, 2023
Kraigg Brathwaite batting against Zimbabwe. Kraigg Brathwaite batting against Zimbabwe.

West Indies Test Captain Kraigg Brathwaite wants his troops to put recent series against Australia and Zimbabwe in the past as they gear up to take on South Africa in the first of three Test matches beginning in Centurion on Tuesday.

The regional side lost 0-2 away to Australia in December last year before beating Zimbabwe 1-0 in January 2023.

"I think Australia is obviously history and the Test series in Zimbabwe, obviously a different calibre team, it was good to get a series with them. I think looking here at the South African team, they still have a lot of experience," Brathwaite said at the press conference before the first Test.

"They have got world class bowlers and some quality batsmen, so we have to play some very good Test cricket and it is important that we take control of every hour and we don't think about the big picture. If we take control of every hour, every session, I think we can do well," he added.

The West Indies had three good batting displays against the Zimbabweans, producing scores of 447-6 declared, 203-5 declared and 292.

Individually, Brathwaite’s opening partner Tagenarine Chanderpaul notched his maiden Test double ton while Raymon Reifer, Jermaine Blackwood and Roston Chase all hit fifties. Joshua Da Silva and Jason Holder both made half centuries in the warm-up match against a South Africa Invitational XI ahead of this series.

Brathwaite hopes this form can carry over into the first Test and beyond.

“It is important that we have a team effort in South Africa. So, it's good to see the top order getting some scores in Zimbabwe and the middle-order in the practice games before the first Test. It's great. It's important we put all the pieces together in this series," he said.

The 30-year-old also encouraged his bowlers ahead of the first Test.

"I think we look forward to bowling at any batting lineup in the world," Brathwaite said.

"We won't be focusing on what the teams have done in the past. It's important that we hit our straps and discipline is very important. We need to stick to our plans and the results will take care of themselves," he added.

South Africa are coming off a 0-2 defeat at the hands of the Aussies themselves and are in a transitional period with Temba Bavuma taking charge in his first series as Test Captain after taking the reins from Dean Elgar.

The first Test bowls off on Tuesday.

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