Bravo’s World Cup in doubt
Darren Bravo’s World Cup could be over.
Following a low-grade tear to his left hamstring sustained in the victory over Pakistan, the dashing left-hander’s recovery has been rather slow. After five days on the sidelines Bravo is still unable to run or move with absolute comfort and a team spokesperson confirmed today to ESPNCricinfo that this had forced West Indies’ tour management to “begin discussions” over the possibility of calling for a replacement player.
Bravo will sit out West Indies’ crucial match against South Africa tonight, after also missing Tuesday’s match against Zimbabwe, and he may not be able to make a comeback against India as planned. West Indies have seven days between the games in Sydney and Perth and then another nine days before their final group match against UAE in Napier. It is expected that if Bravo has not recovered in time for the India match, a replacement will be called up.
After missing the South Africa tour because of personal issues, Bravo returned for the World Cup with mixed results. He scored two ducks in four innings, including one in a warm-up game. However, he then showed glimpses of form and was on 49 when he retired hurt in the match against Pakistan.
Fellow left-handed batsman Jonathan Carter took his place in the starting XI against Zimbabwe but was not required to bat. He is expected to retain his place in the line-up for tonight’s match against the Proteas. Carter showed encouraging signs on the South Africa tour which preceded the ICC World Cup without making a really significant score.
West Indies do not have another extra batsman in the side and will have to look at the rest of their talent pool. Leon Johnson, who was part of the ODI series in South Africa albeit without much success, would be one option. Narsingh Deonarine, who also played that series and had a decent score of 43 in one of the matches, may also come into contention.
With West Indies’ bowling seemingly being their weakest link in the three matches played in the World Cup so far, if Bravo is withdrawn from the team a bowling option could be explored.
It has also been suggested that Bravo be replaced by his elder brother, Dwayne Bravo, who was dropped from the One-Day International side for “cricketing reasons”, according to chief selector Clive Lloyd.