Carlos Brathwaite, newly appointed West Indies T20 captain after Darren Sammy's sacking, believes that he will not have difficulty in leading the current squad during the upcoming T20I series against India. Both teams are set to square off in Lauderhill, USA for a 2-match series on August 27 and 28.
The Barbadian was named the skipper earlier this month after the West Indies selectors told two-time World Champion Sammy that he did not deserve a place in the side after they "reviewed the captaincy of T20."
Speaking after the rain-marred final Test in Trinidad, Brathwaite explained why his job could be "pretty easy."
"I think a team like this will be pretty easy to lead, from the point of view that the dressing room is a fun place to be. I don't think it's a case where I have to negotiate too many egos. The guys enjoy each other's company. It's just a matter for me to go there, do the things that I can do, firstly as a player and then a captain, continue to mould the team that Darren has started to mould, efficiently," Brathwaite said at a press conference.
"Again, the most important thing is getting victories for the West Indies. As a new leader, things might change bit by bit. It's just about adjusting and then for me to find ways for the team to continue to win.
"I don't want to get too deep into the psychology of changing leaders and stuff like that. I think all the guys are mature enough. We have had cases where some of the guys were captains, and then played the next series under a different captain. We are professionals, we all know what we have to go out there and do," the all-rounder added.
The 28-year-old, who grabbed eyeballs with his stellar show in the 2016 ICC World T20 final against England – he hit four sixes in the last over to give West Indies an improbable win – hopes that he could lead from the front.
"It's a matter of, first, to go out there and win games for the West Indies and I hope that my leadership can influence that in some part. Even if it doesn't, if we win the games that will be the most important thing," Brathwaite explained.
Although he was keen to take up the leadership role, Brathwaite admitted that he had a bit of hesitation and wanted a clarification from the selectors as to what their expectations were from him.
"Yes there was hesitation. I wanted to contact my family and my close advisors before I took the job. It is an honour, I would never say I didn't want to take it. But obviously I had some questions that I asked of the selection panel before I took the job. Just basically to clarify why they wanted me, what they expected of me, and coming into the role knowing my job," Brathwaite opened up.
Sammy, the man Brathwaite takes over from, congratulated his successor and gave him a 'good vote of confidence'.
"He just told me, 'Congratulations'. He heard it before I spoke to him, and he just said, 'Congratulations, it's a big challenge'. He gave me his blessing and as a senior guy appreciated it, which allowed me to ease into the role.
"I haven't officially started yet, but it has allowed me to transition easier from just being told [about the captaincy] to the excitement of wanting to get on the field and lead. It was a good vote of confidence speaking to Sammy, then I saw him at a charity event, saw some of the senior guys as well, all have been telling me positive things."
Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin, who was waiting to address the media next, turned reporter and asked Brathwaite if he thought India would get more support in USA than West Indies.
"It's funny because the US has a lot of Caribbean supporters and I think a few Caribbean people who used to like cricket but probably don't follow it anymore would love to come out and enjoy some games in the US. Whether they will be supporting West Indies or India I don't know, but I think it will be a very good spectacle.
From all reports, CPL had a fantastic ovation and it was well-received. And I hope this is the start of big things. We are next-door neighbours and the US is a powerhouse, so let's see how it goes. We are testing the waters a bit, hopefully it goes well and hopefully this is the first of many in the USA," Brathwaite said.