Darren Bravo was dropped from West Indies’ squad for the one-off Test against Afghanistan, but former fast bowler and current commentator Michael Holding believes the left-hand batsman is “too talented to be left out”.
“I would tell him to find something that works. If he has a technical problem – and I don’t know if that is the case – I would tell him to find someone and get it sorted,” Holding said on the Line & Length podcast this week. “If it’s just a matter of going through a bad rut and you don’t know exactly what the problem is, again find someone who is highly qualified and skilful enough to look at you and suggest something that may be going wrong and try and get it sorted.”
Bravo still has a central contract, having been awarded an all-format deal in July.
“Him being out of the team, I hope he will not take it personally and won’t be upset,” Holding added. “I just read that Jonny Bairstow was left out of the England team, and I also read that the chairman of the selectors and another selector actually went to visit him and sat down and talked to him. I hope that they will do the same thing for Darren Bravo. He is too skillful and talented a player to just be washed up on the shore. He is too talented to be left out.”
Holding also advocated West Indies going back to their traditional strength of fast bowling, and supporting upcoming pace bowlers by preparing pitches accordingly. He cited India’s example, and their recent stock of pace bowling riches, to emphasize his point.
“I would hope that the pitches in the Caribbean will be prepared to encourage fast bowlers,” Holding said. “Because if you don’t have pitches that encourage fast bowlers, you’re going to struggle. Look at India. They have started prepare different pitches over the last six-seven years, and they’ve started to produce a lot of fast bowlers. And they are now winning series away from home. That is what you need.
“Look at the quickest pitches renowned in the Caribbean – Jamaica and Barbados. Where have most of the Caribbean fast bowlers come from? Jamaica and Barbados. In recent times, a few more have been coming out of Antigua. But Trinidad have not produced a lot. Ian Bishop definitely would have been a great but for injury. Colin Croft was from Guyana. But those flat pitches that don’t encourage people to run in and work hard, will not produce fast bowlers. So one would hope that pitches that have good pace and bounce will be prepared in that manner so that we can encourage our youngsters to bowl fast.”