Delhi Daredevils captain Zaheer Khan feels West Indies middle-order batsman Carlos Brathwaite can turn out to be the key for the IPL side this season if he continues his stunning performance from the ICC World T20 2016 to the lucrative cricket league. The ninth edition of the Indian Premier League gets under way April 9.
Brathwaite made heads turn and jaws drop in the World T20 2016 final at Eden Gardens Sunday as he hit four sixes off four balls from Ben Stokes to guide the Caribbean side to their second World T20 title. The 27-year-old was bought for a whopping Rs. 4.2 crore in the IPL player auction of 2016 by the Daredevils, from a base price of just Rs. 30 lakh.
"Everyone knows that IPL is all about momentum. Every guy's contribution will be crucial. And after his performance in the World Cup final, Brathwaite is coming in with that kind of confidence," an elated Zaheer was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.
"I am hopeful that he will carry forward that confidence in the IPL," the former Indian international player added.
With 19 needed to win off six balls for West Indies in the final of World T20 2016 against England, Brathwaite looked like a man possessed as he hit four consecutive over-boundaries to seal the game and the title for the Caribbean side. Fans on social media reacted after his sensational display, and soon enough he was being considered one of the players to watch out for in IPL 2016.
The likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne as well as other cricket legends and current players praised his performance.
However, nothing beats the appreciation you get from your parents after achieving something memorable. Brathwaite's parents were just as proud after what their son achieved in India. "When I saw Carlos facing the last over, I said to myself, 'once Carlos don't play his sweep shot we're gonna make those runs easy. And he played as straight as he possibly can, [sic]" his father Chesterfield Brathwaite told Barbados Today.
"I always tell him when he is batting try and play as straight as possible. The thing I always discuss with him is his sweet shot. He didn't really play a sweet shot [Sunday], he played a scoop."
The player's mother, Joycelyn, said prayers and her son's abilities got West Indies the glory on the day and him the much-needed recognition. "I watched the first innings and after the [first] person get out I started praying. So it was prayer that lift him up. And his ability," she said.
Carlos Brathwaite, set to be in action for Delhi Daredevils against Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2016 this Sunday, also received a hero's welcome at his hotel in the national capital. Check the video here: