In-form West Indies batsman Kraigg Brathwaite doesn’t care for the critics.
Nor does he waste any time worrying about what the so-called experts say about the current state of Test cricket in the Caribbean.
“It just motivates me to go there and perform,” said Brathwaite, who was responding to media commentary that the Boxing Day Test against Australia will be a “no contest”.
Former teammates Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo have all weighed into the debate over the demise of West Indies cricket in recent days but Brathwaite couldn’t care less.
Asked if he’d listened to any of the opinions in the press, Brathwaite quipped sternly: “No.
He said the mood in the camp was upbeat in the wake of the innings and 212-run thrashing in Hobart.
“We’ve had two sessions thus far and the team spirit is quite good and we just have to keep going from strength to strength,” Brathwaite said following yesterday’s session at Simonds Stadium, where they will meet a Victorian invitational XI in a two-day clash on Saturday.
“It’s not going to be easy (to turn it around) but I think we have the guys in the team to do it.
“It’s about believing in our abilities and capitalising on situations.”
The Windies will meet a young state team that boasts just one first-class player in Bushrangers’ opener Travis Dean.
“I believe it will be beneficial,” he said.
“It’s a chance for the batsman to get some batting and for the bowlers to get a good blow and it’s about having the right mindset before the game. Once we do that, and if we come out positive, we will go far.”
Brathwaite and top-order batsman Darren Bravo are among the few Windies players who can hold their heads high after Hobart.
Bravo struck a brilliant century, while Brathwaite deserved a ton after falling for 94 in the second innings as his rapidly ran out of partners.
“I was quite happy to get a score. I still want to keep working hard. It’s still about going out there and getting a start and going on,” Brathwaite said.
“I’m still working hard in the nets and I’m quite confident and I have to believe in myself.”
Brathwaite said he hoped his teammates would take confidence from the form he and Bravo displayed in Hobart.
“Deep down inside they know they can do it, it’s just about getting starts. If everyone can do that and capitalise we will do quite well,” he said.
Brathwaite revealed he is eager to get to Melbourne, having never played at the MCG.
“Playing in Australia is a dream come true,” he said.
“When I was a teenager and I was batting I always dreamt about playing in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG) because I hear it’s a magnificent stadium.”