DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – West Indies batsman Shai Hope has labelled an in-form Darren Bravo as a crucial component if the team is to be competitive in the upcoming day-night Test series against Pakistan in Dubai.
Yesterday Bravo punished the bowling of a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) XI, scoring a flowing 91 as the team made 297 all out on the final day of the day-night match being played with a pink ball at Sharjah Stadium. The match ended in a draw as the PCB XI, who had scored 308 in their first knock, were 26-3 when the match finished.
The 27-year-old’s impressive knock included 12 boundaries and three sixes. At the other end Hope, who scored 76 as the pair formed a crucial partnership, was left impressed.
“It was a good knock. He is a class player,” Hope said of Bravo’s innings. The opener believes in order to be successful on a tour that has been disastrous to date the team must rally around the Trinidadian batsman.
“He is one of the guys that we need to build around and make sure we get big scores and make sure that we are competitive for the entire series,” Hope said.
Hope noted the West Indies would have to bring their ‘A’ if they wanted to make any significant impression on Pakistan.
“They are a good side. [They’re] up at the top of the rankings so you have to bring your A game when you play against them. We are maturing. Obviously you learn as time goes by so it’s about gaining that experience and continuing on as much as you can,” Hope said.
West Indies face a Pakistan side unbeaten in a Test series in two years and who have won 10 and lost just four of their last 17 Tests in that period.
The Pakistan selectors have picked a strong squad for the day/night opening Test with the likes of batmen Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali, along with leg-spinner Yasir Shah and left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar all included.
And with West Indies having struggled against spin during the series, Hope said the batsmen would need a big effort against the likes of Yasir and Zulfiqar.
“They are class acts so it’s just about applying yourself and trying to combat their plans with yours, and trying to bat as long as possible and get big runs in the series,” Hope pointed out.
The West Indies will play Pakistan in the first of three day-night Test matches on Thursday in Dubai.