West Indies skipper Brathwaite says he will 'lead from the front'

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Kraigg Brathwaite
Kraigg Brathwaite

West Indies opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite said on Wednesday he would not change much as a captain and was looking forward to leading the squad in the two-Test series in Bangladesh later this month.

"I obviously speak to the players. Nothing much will change. Obviously as captain, you will speak more. Naturally that would happen when you are leading the team," Brathwaite told reporters at a virtual press conference in Dhaka.

Brathwaite was called on to lead the side after regular captain Jason Holder and vice-captain Roston Chase, and eight other players, opted out of the series over fears of coronavirus.

"I still see myself as a leader despite not being a (regular) captain," said Brathwaite.

"But now, we have some senior players around that can give guidance.

"I know the majority of the guys so I am familiar to speaking to them. I look forward to leading this team."

In spite of his poor form - he made just 55 runs in four innings in December's two heavy defeats in New Zealand - it was a natural progression for Brathwaite to take over the captaincy as he has already led West Indies in five of his 64 Tests.

"Leading a team, you want to win. My role here is to lead from the front, both as a captain and with the bat. It will be great to get the win," he said.

Two of his previous five Tests as captain came in Bangladesh at the end of 2018 when West Indies lost both matches in the series.

Brathwaite scored just 22 runs in four innings as the Bangladesh spinners took all 40 wickets during the series. The opener, however, says they have done their homework this time around.

"You have to find ways to overcome challenges in international cricket," he said.

"The spinners did well last time. We have reviewed what we could have done better. We have to execute and believe in ourselves, trust our preparations," he said.

'Chosen on merit'

The absence of so many regulars has opened the door for a lot of fringe players including uncapped batsmen Kavem Hodge and Shayne Moseley.

On Wednesday the squad received an open letter from former captain Clive Lloyd urging them to take advantage of the opportunity.

"You have a chance of cementing a permanent place in the West Indies team and not merely filling a gap," said the 76-year-old.

"You have been chosen on merit. This is your destiny. It is your opportunity to fulfil it.

"This is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate your talents and skills to the world and prove to all and sundry that you're not second-class cricketers."

The first Test starts on 3 February in Dhaka, with the second getting underway on 11 February.

The West Indies begin their tour with a warm-up match on January 18 before playing a three-match one-day international series.

The first two ODIs will take place in Dhaka on 20 and 22 January with the final one-day game in Chittagong on 25 January.

Trinidad batsman Jason Mohammed will lead the side in ODI series.

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