I always wanted to be an all-rounder: Bravo

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Port of Spain:After playing an important role in winning the ongoing series against India for West Indies with his superb batting and bowling display, Dwayne Bravo says he is finally living his dream of being an all-rounder and wants to improve on every aspect of his game to cement his place in the side.

''I started as a batsman but I always wanted to be an all-rounder. I started bowling only at the age of 17. In fact I played the under-19 World Cup as an opening batsman. But since then I have worked hard on my bowling. Whether it is batting, bowling or fielding I want to give my best,'' Bravo said here.

Bravo belongs to Santa Cruz, Trinidad, the same place as Brian Lara and many experts are already seeing a future leader in him.

The pacer kept his cool in the last over of the second ODI, when India needed 10 runs and Yuvraj Singh had already hit two fours off the first two balls, and bowled a slower one to clean bowl Yuvraj and win the match which turned out to be the turning point of the series.

Bravo says he worked hard to develop the slower ball which castled Yuvraj.

''I have worked hard at the nets to develop this ball. This is an important wicket taking ball in international cricket. But the trick to get successful with it is to know the correct time to deliver this,'' he said.

Bravo is being hailed as the next big prospect for West Indies and wants to walk in the footsteps of his idol Brian Lara.

''I met him first when I was five years old. I knew who he was but at that time I didn't know what actually it was to be Brian Lara. After 3-4 years I realized what a big player he was and since then always wanted to be like him,'' he said.

Bravo's friends have no doubts that Bravo would be the future hero.

''Brian Lara is known as Big Dog around the city. When I was selected for international cricket, my friends started calling me the Next Big Dog,'' Bravo revealed.

The youngster has shown promise in his short career so far. In 12 Test matches, he has scored two centuries and enjoys a healthy average of 35. He has also taken 28 Test wickets and has two five-wicket hauls. In one-dayers, his record is slightly modest with bat but has close to 50 wickets in 42 matches.

Bravo says that he loves challenges and his best comes when he is under pressure.

''When my team has backs to the wall, I like to stand up and be counted. It is then that my craving for success becomes strongest,'' he said.

Bravo's play has shown enough lights of mental toughness and he is seen as a potential West Indies skipper and he says he is not averse to the idea but the time hasn't come yet.

''I think everybody playing for the West Indies would like to captain the team sometime, I am no different. But that is not my goal right now. My focus is to improve every aspect of my game and help my team win more matches,'' he added.

Apart from cricket, the pacer is not much of a social animal and does not like to go out for parties, preferring to watch WWE fights to unwind himself.

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