Estwick praises Brathwaite for warm-up exploits
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (CMC):
Assistant coach Roddy Estwick hailed the batting of West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite during the first-class tour match against New Zealand ‘A’.
Brathwaite compiled a career-best 246 to lead the Windies batting and anchor them to a formidable 571 in their first innings in the four-day match at John Davies Oval.
It is the highest score for Brathwaite in 160 first-class matches, eclipsing his previous best of 212 against Bangladesh in his 24th Test for West Indies six years ago at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex in St Vincent.
“Kraigg’s innings was outstanding,” Estwick said. “It wasn’t just the runs he scored, but the level of concentration, the discipline and the application were excellent.
“It is also about fitness, because to be able to bat for close to 10 hours in a first-class game or any cricket game is a very long time, and he demonstrated this out there (in this match).
Brathwaite gave further proof that he may have emerged from the slump that he has endured for the past year.
As the most capped batsman in the West Indies Test squad using the match to prepare for the two-Test series against the Black Caps’ senior team, he is a vital part of the batting, and Estwick said that he was pleased to see Brathwaite lead the way with occupation of the crease.
“Before the start of the series, we asked the batsmen to try and bat for as long as possible, and that’s his style, to bat long and bat well,” he said.
“I am also very, very, very happy with the way we played as well. We batted for five sessions and that is something we are setting out to do in New Zealand.
“We are not always going to get the pitches as easy as this – it’s been hard work for the bowlers – but the batsmen still have to go and apply themselves, and Kraigg did that brilliantly.”
The first Test between New Zealand and West Indies starts on Thursday, December 3, at Seddon Park in Hamilton, and the second Test begins on Friday, December 11, at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.