Craig Brathwaite says West Indies’ stunning victory over Australia in Brisbane is “history” as his side focus on Wednesday’s first Test against England at Lord’s. However, he hopes the confidence gained from that performance in January will help lift an inexperienced line-up as they prepare for another tough test of their mettle.

Going into the second Test of the tour of Australia in January, the West Indies had no hope of competing at a venue where the hosts had lost only once in 34 Tests since 1988, particularly in Australia. After a crushing defeat by ten wickets. First match of the series in Adelaide.

However, with half-centuries from Kevin Hodge, Joshua Da Silva and Kevin Sinclair, with key second-innings runs from the likes of Alec Athanasius and Kirk McKenzie, the match was caught in a precarious situation, as was Shamar Joseph’s second-innings knock. The figures of 68 for 7 in 11.5 overs blew away Australia’s middle and lower order for a famous eight-run win.

Six months later, the challenge is no less tough, as the West Indies head to another country where they have not won a series since their territory’s heyday in 1988. In his entire squad, only three players – Brathwaite himself, plus Jason Holder and Al-Zari Joseph – have previous experience of playing at Lord’s, but the captain is confident that what he saw in Australia will give his team a once-over. Then difficulties can be overcome.

“It was a big positive for us to get the win because it showed we could get the job done,” Brathwaite said. “Obviously the key for us as a group is to do it consistently.

“We could have taken a lot from the game as batsmen, because we had some important contributions. The bowlers were brilliant then. Shamar was the star. But almost all the bowlers did very well, and we caught well. It’s okay

“But that’s history, over. We have to wait for the other Tests in this series after that, but at least it gives us a start that we can work on. We just have to believe in ourselves. Have to do.” “

Brathwaite confirmed his Test XI, with his new opening partner Mikel Louis set to make history as the first West Indies player from the St Kitts island. The middle order is hardly more experienced, with Nos. 3-5, McKenzie, Athanaz, and Hodge, boasting nine caps and a combined tally of 453 runs between them.

Despite each playing a key role in Brisbane’s victory, Brathwaite is confident he and the rest of the pair in his line-up are ready to learn on the job.

“I think they’re young and exciting,” he said. “Kirk McKenzie made a couple of half-centuries in Australia, which was good, Hodge also made a good 80 (71), and Alec got some confidence to show he could do it consistently. The more games he played. The more the better. There’s a lot of talent and we’re behind them 100 percent.”

“My advice to all the younger guys in the group, as Mikel makes his debut, don’t just expect to play for the West Indies, expect to be the first player to score 30 centuries.”

Craig Brathwaite

However, Brathwaite’s experience at the top of the order will be crucial, as his hard-fought century in Barbados set the West Indies on course for a hard-fought 1-0 win in the spring of 2022. I which has now extended their unbeaten home series record against England to 20 years and counting.

England’s bowling mentality means that Ben Stokes’ side will not be looking to emulate Braithwaite’s 489-ball 160 in this Bridgetown clash, but the man himself said he would use his proven methods. Will not be quick from the point of view of their opponents.

“My general approach is taking my time, and that’s me,” he said. “All batsmen have to bat their game, and back their plan. That’s what we’ll do, we focus on ourselves. Making sure we fight is very important. But every at-bat. Baz’s style is different and one thing we emphasize is for the boys to plan and back themselves.

“It’s a young group, especially the batsmen, they have a lot of time to learn because obviously playing Test cricket takes a little time to really understand.”

During his last appearance at Lord’s in 2017, Brathwaite entered the history books when he became James Anderson’s 500th Test wicket, courtesy of a brilliant innings that took Anderson to a career-best 7 for 42. Delivered to the data. In his own recollection of the moment – “I remember the ball, I don’t think too much about it” – Brathwaite acknowledged the skills his opponent had endured during their previous encounters.

“Obviously he’s a legend of the game, he’s very consistent,” Brathwaite said. “He hits a line and a length, then can determine whether it goes in or out, and that was obviously a talent in itself. It’s a good challenge to face him in England, You have to really get into it, but once you come in, getting out on the positive side, it really gives you a lot of confidence.”

In terms of the lesson he would pass on to his teammates ahead of Anderson’s Test farewell, Brathwaite said: “You’ve got a few seconds to make a decision, you really have to trust your eyes. Obviously. , it’s not 90 miles an hour, so you have a little more time to see it, but I’d say trust your defense, whether you’re attacking the ball or defending, completely on yourself. Have faith, and stay as long as you can.

“My advice to all the younger guys in the group, as Mikail made his debut, don’t just expect to play for the West Indies, expect to be the first player to score 30 centuries. You have to think big, you know. Don’t think too small.

“We have our plans, so stick to our plan. And enjoy it as well. Because it’s always a great series to play in England. And we’re really looking forward to it.”

Andrew Miller is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket

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