The name’s Bravo, not Lara
Same swagger, same back-lift, same trademark shot (the one-legged, in the air pull) and almost the same facial features under the helmet.
Obviously not the same stature yet but Darren Bravo is bent on making a name for himself and coming out of the shadows of his cousin, the famous Brian Lara.
Bravo provided a glimpse of his ability in the West Indies’ opening match of their tour of England on Monday against Sussex at Hove, his 19 from 60 balls a spark in the otherwise damp proceedings. The match was drawn with the tourists 90 for three in 34 overs, spread over three rain-affected, dull days.
His three fours in the innings immediately drew comparisons to Lara but Bravo knows that’s not what wins matches.
“I often seem to be spoken of as ‘the next Brian Lara’, but I can’t really focus on that,” he said.
“I just have to go out there and play my natural game every time I bat.”
The Trinidadian’s stats are almost the equal of Lara’s at a relative stage in their careers. And that’s something Bravo would perhaps like to emulate more than the mannerisms of ‘The Prince’.
“I just have to go out there, believing in myself and continuing to make a name for myself.”
Coach Ottis Gibson realises the potential and believes Bravo’s time will come.
“He is somebody that we have a lot of confidence and belief in and somebody that will take us forward over the next couple of years. We’re not worried about his form, we know what he’s capable of and he tends to rise to the big occasion as well, so we’re looking forward to seeing him bat over the next couple of weeks,” Gibson said before his team landed in England.
As preparation for the first Test against England on May 17, the Windies can only hope the weather in Northampton holds up not only Bravo but the rest of the side who will need to acclimatise fast to the testing conditions.
They are due to play England Lions there from Thursday to Sunday.