Kraigg Brathwaite back to his former self

Brathwaite finally managed to rise from the ashes
Brathwaite finally managed to rise from the ashes

At the start of the Test series against England, West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite was under enormous pressure following his poor run in the format.

His captaincy credentials were also under scrutiny as his side went down 0-2 to Sri Lanka at the end of last year. That marked a third consecutive series that West Indies failed to win with him as captain. Their best series result under Brathwaite, before this series against England, was a 1-1 draw against Pakistan last summer in the Caribbean.

Since then, the Calypso Kings have failed to win a single Test match.

The captain's own form had also raised doubts, coming into this series, as to how long he would be able to hold on to his place in the team. In his last 12 Test innings, he has managed to add just a couple of half-centuries to his name. Even in a couple of domestic four-day games, he failed to make a mark.

๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ๏ธ Babar Azam (Pakistan) and Kraig Brathwaite (WestIndies) shares the trophy after series ending 1-1 #WIvPAK

Brathwaite rose from the ashes

No wonder his position as an opener as well as captain was under the scanner as England visited Caribbean shores. Facing a challenging task to save the first Test, the captain put up a mighty rearguard action up front to prevent his team from going down in the contest.

The diminutive right-hander managed to get some crucial runs under his belt against the imposing trio of Mark Wood, Chris Woakes and Craig Overton. More importantly, he was well supported by his middle order which allowed West Indies to grab a well-earned draw and snap their four-match losing streak.

Nevertheless, it was the beginning of the challenge.

The next Test match saw an incredible partnership between the two centurions, Ben Stokes and Joe Root, which allowed the visitors to post a daunting 500-plus score in the first innings. At the start of the Windies innings, it was quite clear that the only result they could fight for was a draw.

The second Test ends in a draw.England just couldn't shift Kraigg Brathwaite and despite a good effort from Joe Root's side, they shake hands and call it day. Reaction โฌ‡#BBCCricket #WIvsENG

The only man who could help them achieve that heist was their captain Kraigg Brathwaite. He played a marathon knock in the first innings, occupying the crease for more than 11 hours as West Indies put up a 400-plus score in response. He faced an astounding 673 deliveries across both innings, the most ever by a West Indian in a single Test match. He thus moved past Brian Lara's 2004 mark of 582 balls versus England at St John's.

Even on the last day, Brathwaite batted more than 30 overs for an unbeaten 50, which enabled West Indies to escape unscathed. It was testament to the character and resilience of a man who has been hit hard in recent years partly by his own poor form and partly by a depleted team.

It's taken a while but Kraigg Brathwaite has finally shown exactly why he is one of the most accomplished openers in world cricket at the moment.

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Edited by Steffi
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