See myself as natural leader: KKR all-rounder Brathwaite
Kolkata, April 24: At a time when Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik is under the pump, Carlos Brathwaite said the team does not have a leadership group within the squad and everyone contributes when required.
"I guess we don't have a leadership group per se. If you're a leader by nature, it will show in whatever you say, whatever you do, how you say things and how you do it. So my mannerisms will be the same, regardless of which team I play for," Brathwaite told reporters on the eve of KKR's must-win encounter against fellow laggards Rajasthan Royals.
Brathwaite was asked if he was part of the leadership group in the team, being the West Indies T20 captain.
"I've been speaking in team meetings, been speaking to the coach, to the captain, to the manager and I think the leader is natural. It's something that happens. I see myself as one. I don't know how the world sees it, but where I can share my knowledge. I try to lend my expertise wherever I can," the 30-year old said.
Since their defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad — fifth on the trot and sixth overall — some of the players, including under-fire skipper Karthik, went to Mumbai to re-energise and take some time off, according to the team management.
According to sources, the likes of Karthik and Robin Uthappa arrived late on the eve of the match.
There have been talks about Karthik being under pressure as far as his captaincy is concerned despite the backing of head coach Jacques Kallis.
Brathwaite said they have not pressed the panic button yet, and the dressing room was still a healthy place to be in.
"I don't know if you had the privilege of watching us train. There were lots of smiles and fun. We even played football a couple of times."
Brathwaite has played just one game so far in this IPL, against Delhi Capitals here, but could get a look in against the Royals.
"I think as a professional player, you cannot allow results to alter your demeanour or your mindset. It's still a healthy dressing room to be in and I enjoy coming to work," Brathwaite said.
Since beating Royals in Jaipur, KKR have failed to win a single game out of their last five matches, languishing in the sixth place in the points table. Like Royals, they also need to win all the four remaining matchs in order to secure a berth in the playoffs.
"I would prefer to have the six losses where we had them, rather than having them in the last six games and then getting knocked out.
"As a team we haven't been good enough, full stop. It's a matter of getting better and putting out a perfect game together," Brathwaite said.
KKR's bowling has been particularly poor with the likes of Kuldeep Yadav also going for runs. But Brathwaite did not want to single them out, saying they have let down as a unit.
"I just don't want to single out the bowling unit, because as a team we haven't played cricket collectively.
"The bowlers have been putting their hands up and trying to do their level best every time but the batsmen haven't scored enough runs to give the bowlers the cushion. So I think as a team we just need to butt heads together. We had a nice little break have come back refreshed," he said.
The West Indies are yet to name their World Cup squad and Brathwaite said that though he was nervous, his focus at the moment was on KKR.
"I am a little nervous. It's a privilege to represent your nation whenever you get the chance and the World Cup is an even more prestigious occasion. I'm looking forward to give my best if I get selected, but for now my job is with the KKR."