Teams Played For
West Indies, Nottinghamshire, West Indies A, West Indies Inv XI, Kolkata Knight Riders, Deccan Chargers, Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies Under-19, Trinbago Knight Riders, Cumilla Warriors, Bangla Tigers, Multan Sultans, Winnipeg Hawks
A stylish left-handed batsman whose strokeplay resembles West Indian legend Brian Lara, Darren Bravo hails from Trinidad and his temperament and skill set with the bat make him one of the finest Windies batsmen of the modern generation. The southpaw, who is a half-brother of West Indies international Dwayne, grew up idolising none other than Brian Lara, considered among the best batsmen to ever grace the game of cricket.
Flair, elegance and stroke play came quite naturally to Darren. However, his main area of concern was his consistency. Bravo looked like a class act when he broke onto the international circuit but his performances in the first few matches were far from impressive. He scored just a solitary half-century in his first 12 ODIs. It was only in 2009 that Bravo got a chance in the longest format and almost immediately, he took a liking to the format. The southpaw scored twin half-centuries in his first two Test innings.
Bravo’s Test form went on the rise as he smashed four half-centuries in his next seven Tests but failed to convert starts into big knocks. His maiden Test century came in his 10th Test against Bangladesh at Dhaka in 2011. He came agonisingly close to converting his maiden ton into a double century. Bravo eventually fell just 5 runs short, but it was enough for everyone to get an idea of the talent he possessed.
The whole world took notice of him when he proved his worth in the Test series in India 2011, a place which is considered as one of the toughest countries to tour. The classy left-hander took a liking to the challenge and ended the series with two centuries under his belt which his childhood idol Lara couldn't achieve all through his career. His batting against spin was quite exceptional, using the feet to the spinners, especially in the Kolkata Test, made everyone turn their head and applaud the young man. He ended the series with more than 400 runs under his belt, a feat achieved by only Jimmy Adams from the Caribbean shores.
Comparisons with Lara started doing the rounds as he had the exact numbers which Lara had after 12 Tests. Bravo’s induction in the Indian Premier League (IPL) came in 2012 when he was snapped by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the mega auctions. However, he had to make way for a replacement as the IPL clashed with Australia’s tour of the West Indies in March and April. Bravo had a below-par run in the five-match ODI series scoring just 48 runs. The Santa Cruz-born was dropped from the T20Is against the same opponents and was asked to return to domestic cricket so that he regains some form ahead of the Test series. He went on to smash 184 runs in three matches and finished as the second leading run-getter for the Caribbeans. The selectors kept faith in Bravo and the latter didn't disappoint when he smashed one of the finest Test innings in New Zealand. The flamboyant batsman scored a sensational double century under immense pressure which eventually helped the Windies draw the Test in Dunedin against the Kiwis from a tough situation.
His first ODI century came against Zimbabwe in 2013 and then went on to cement his place in the limited-overs set-up. In the tour of India, the southpaw smashed three consecutive half-centuries but as his career progressed, his form in the white-ball format kept going down and he was eventually dropped from the side.
The Trinidadian was also involved in a controversial Twitter message from his personal account where he termed the then WICB President Dave Cameron as a “Big Idiot”. He went on to challenge the board to prove their allegations which led to a further decline in his career. He was shaved off from the central contract for the 2016-17 period. The Trinbago Knight Riders' cricketer made a comeback in 2018 and then went on to cement his place in the side again.
Over the last few years, Bravo has gone on to prove his credentials in the white-ball format as well and has evolved his game. Bravo made a big impact in the Caribbean Premier League following the COVID-19 break and also cemented his place in limited-overs formats. In 2021, he went on to smash his 4th ODI century against Sri Lanka. He continues to be an integral part of the Windies side.
(As of April 2021)