Kolkata: Hero of West Indies' ICC World T20 title triumph, Carlos Brathwaite on Saturday said that he is privileged to share the dressing room with his idol Rahul Dravid, the mentor of Delhi Daredevils in this season of Indian Premier League (IPL).
"I find myself privileged enough to be working along with someone I have idolised all my career and that is Rahul Dravid. We had a couple of chats and it is good to hear from him as a person and as a player on what are the areas that I would look to improve on in terms of playing spin and I spoke to Rahul about," Brathwaite said on the eve of Delhi Daredevils IPL opener against Kolkata Knight Riders in Kolkata.
The 27-year-old said he hoped to return home as a better player.
"I hope that at the end of six weeks I go back to the West Indies with better understanding of how to play spin bowling, how to rotate it, how to score off it and how to take that knowledge from the IPL back to the West Indies," he said.
The same strip where he had hit four sixes in a row to win the World T20 would be on offer for the match at the Eden Gardens on Sunday, but Brathwaite said it's a different proposition.
"If you look at it as a psychological advantage then it can be a disadvantage as well since it is the same ground and same fans but at the same time is a completely different tournament, different game and a different team with different set of oppositions that deserve respect. We need to react to what is done on the day as opposed to try and live in the past and hoping it happens again," he insisted.
He said it was up to the Delhi Daredevils think-tank to give him a suitable role in the team.
"It is something that the Delhi Daredevils require of me and which I would want to do for them. I would want to come on top and if that requires me hitting one six or doing it by singles, I am prepared to do that for the franchise.
"I honestly believe you always have something to prove.
If you are the defending champions, then next year you have to prove that it wasn't a fluke. If you weren't doing well before, then you have to prove that you are good enough to be here. I don't want to say that we will take the past and use it as strength but together as a team we are aware that we didn't have a good recent past.
Asked about his preferred batting order, he said: "I will bat wherever the team requires and if the team decides that they need to use me at a particular number then I need to adapt to that position and do the best I can for my team. If the situation asks me to bat in the same way that I do for the West Indies then I also need to adapt to that and do what I need to do. It is about adapting all the time to make sure that the Daredevils come out on top in each and every game."
Attributing his success to his big-hitting teammates -- Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo -- Brathwaite said: "Just being able to watch those guys train and prepare and the way they pick themselves up from bad performance and enjoy the good performances was a lesson for me. It was a pleasure to be in their presence and I just hope that I can take what I learn and match it with what I know already.
"More importantly you need to use that to good effect to be successful for the Delhi Daredevils and then to influence the youngsters inside the Delhi dressing room."
Delhi Daredevils had surprised many by spending Rs 4.2 crore on a relatively unknown Brathwaite during the IPL auctions but after his slugfest in the World Twenty20, he seems to be their most prized buy.
"I am privileged enough to come into the team as a World Cup winner and be able to take some lessons. I hope I impact a youngster in the dressing room," a modest Brathwaite said.
With series of interviews lined-up after his WT20 exploits, Brathwaite said he is learning to deal with the stardom.
"It has been a bit of a challenge in terms of constant interviews and reliving the four sixes each and every day. So it has been a challenge to get off the hype that I have been on. In the last couple of days we have been training to get distractions out of the way and train hard with the Delhi Daredevils teammates to be in the mental space and capacity to give 100 per cent on the field.
"I would be honest and say that it has been a bit of a challenge. I had time management problems to begin with, making sure that I did all the interviews and commitments. It has been a challenge but now I am aware of the challenges that this new stardom has brought me and it is something that I look forward to if I continue to be successful and it is something that I need to cope with. Hopefully, it will get better in the near future," said the West Indian cricketer.
On the number of interviews he has obliged after his WT20 show, he said: "I cannot count, but for the stage that it happened on, everyone wanted to know what was going through my mind and what I was thinking at that point of time and how I did it. I am just trying to facilitate as much people as possible. Hope I didn't miss anyone. I just tried to do as much as I could within the time frame."
Brathwaite said while he might be known for his ability to hit big sixes in T20 but he is big fan of Test cricket.
"Personally I do love Test cricket and I enjoy watching the boring parts of Test cricket -- a batsman batting out long periods of time and then overcoming that to score a hundred. I take each facet of the game in each format at its best.
"T20 is more towards the countries that more necessarily be traditionalist in the game. It is a good spectator sport as well but then there is Test cricket where you get to test yourself against the values of the format -- like facing a barrage of bouncers and getting past that, taking a few knocks and playing the swinging ball and seeing though a good spell to capitalise and get a hundred," he explained.
"As a bowler bowling a 10 over spell to go on for another two overs just to bring the team back into the game. I think all three facets has its place within the sport and I enjoy being a part of all three. The better cricketers in the world are able to adapt from T20 to 50 overs to Test cricket and it is a challenge that I set myself -- to be able to play all three formats and be successful in all three," he added.
The West Indian said he might be at the receiving at some point of time with the evolving Twenty20 format.
"I don't think it will happen but I know it will happen and it is a game of cricket. Some days you will be at the receiving end and some days you get along. You have to know what you can do at the best of your abilities, then the result takes care of itself. Sometimes the results are negative and at times positive, you just need to back your preparation and back your process," he said.