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Anand Subramaniam in Mohali

The phone call that got Bravo going

T&T batsman shares how a pre-game chat with Brian Lara helped him raise his game against SRH

As a kid, Darren Bravo grew up watching just one man play the game of cricket. His eyes would lock on to the TV set whenever his idol walked out to the centre with willow in his hand. And who would have expected that in the years to come, he would mirror his own uncle – a certain Brian Charles Lara.

Those mannerisms, that backlift, that footwork that sees him dance down the track to the spinners – watch them all in one go and you might feel it was Lara taking strike like he did back in the day. A flurry of strokes, some crisp copy book shots and a lot of Lara in Darren Bravo took centre stage at the PCA stadium in Mohali against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Bravo scored a stroke-filled 44-ball 66, which was a viewer’s delight.

However, his knock went in vain as T&T went down by four wickets in a last-over thriller.

In a post match chat with clt20.com, Darren Bravo spoke about his batting, a phone call he received before his knock and of course, his fondness for the legendary Brian Lara.

Excerpts from his interview:

You are known for playing in the longer formats. How did you adapt to the T20 style of playing? Have you brought about some changes in your batting technique?

Not really. I am not someone who will play the paddle sweep and the reverse sweep. I love to play the conventional shots and that is something that I back myself to do. Sometimes you execute and sometimes you don’t. It is a matter of adapting. It is very important that you understand the situation of the game and play according to that.

Your idol, Brian Lara, is playing a crucial role as advisor for T&T. Do you both chat regularly about the game and your batting?

I have constant chats with Brian Lara. He is always there for me. He had a very good chat with me for about half an hour over the phone before the game. It is always good to talk to him and take cues on the game. I hold Brian very close to my heart and for someone like him to be sharing advice and supporting me is definitely something to feel proud about.

Would you credit Lara and the phone call for the way you played against the Sunrisers?

Yes. But I am sure if he was watching, he probably would have wanted me to go on and bat through the innings for the team, which is something that we spoke about. Hopefully, I can continue where I left off today and perform even better for the team in the future.

And do you make an effort to mirror your role model?

As a kid growing up, Brian was the only batsman I used to look at. I loved the way he used to play. He is my role model. I just want to go out there and play my game and at the end of the day if it looks somewhat close to him, so be it (Smiles).

You looked unstoppable today. What was the key to batting on that kind of a wicket?

It was a wicket were you needed to soak up a few balls. When I say to soak up, I mean you needed to spend quality time at the crease. I did that and I was able to execute in the best possible way, but unfortunately I got out at the wrong time. But that is how it happens sometimes; I need to continue backing myself and try and perform to the best of my ability for the team.

Do you feel 160 was a good enough total on that wicket?

I thought it was a good total. The guys batted really well throughout the 20 overs. We did not bowl to the best of our ability tonight and sometimes that is how it goes. At the end of the day we have to pick ourselves up and move on to the next game.

A win, a loss and two games to go – what is the way forward for T&T now?

We need to pick ourselves up and identify the areas where we went wrong and try and correct it as quickly as possible. We have a few days off; we need to get into the nets and get the job right in the next game.

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