Brian Lara’s recipe for India to end ICC trophy wait

India, while dominating world cricket across formats, haven’t won an ICC tournament since the 2013 Champions Trophy and the Caribbean batting great puts it down to their inability to tick all boxes.
Former West Indies cricketer Brian Lara(PTI)
Former West Indies cricketer Brian Lara(PTI)
Updated on Dec 15, 2019 09:37 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByKhurram Habib

Former West Indies skipper Brian Lara urged India to learn from the Australia teams that won three consecutive 50-over World Cup titles in the last decade if they are to win ICC tournaments.

India, while dominating world cricket across formats, haven’t won an ICC tournament since the 2013 Champions Trophy and the Caribbean batting great puts it down to their inability to tick all boxes.

Speaking at the inauguration of the first Women’s National Cricket Tournament for the Blind that will run from December 16-19 in the capital, Lara said, “You have one of the best sides. Everybody is lining you up. It’s like fait accompli— India are going to make the semis or the knockouts. So everybody is gearing up for that match. You look at the way New Zealand played against India. They knew who to target. India have to appreciate that the invincibility of West Indies in 1975 and 1979 and Australia (in 1999, 2003, 2007) was because they ticked all the boxes.

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“The Aussies were so dominant and in 2003 and 2007, they were the strongest. But they made sure they ticked all the boxes and stayed a step ahead of every single team. You felt there is always an opportunity to beat India if Kohli and Rohit don’t score. India have to make sure that all 11 players move in one direction and know their role, at every single stage. (Then) they can win many, many World Cups.”

Lara, whose world record Test score of 400 was under threat from David Warner (335* v Pakistan) recently, feels it will be broken by a batsman who is aggressive. “I had a chat with Warner after the game. He said it is a team decision (Australia declared) and he would love to have the opportunity to break. It is all destiny. Players like Warner... attacking players are the ones most suited to break my record. I think Virat Kohli, the way he scores, Rohit Sharma, a player on his day can definitely break the record.”

Lara was impressed by West Indies’ performance in the T20 series that they lost 1-2. He said they will be a force to reckon with at next year’s World Cup but admitted things aren’t looking good at Test level, despite the home series win over England.

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He said World Test Championship is a good start but questioned the points system. “Test cricket will be given a little lifeline with the introduction of the Test league. I don’t think they have it right in terms of how they distribute the points. But this is the first time. They are going to clean up things that may go wrong.”

On the West Indies’ future in Tests, he said, “I am hoping West Indies don’t get involved at a lower Test level. You have to understand, we have five-six million people, different islands, different politics. Cricket is the only unifying force. But it still has its problems. I am hoping the present Windies Cricket president Jimmy Adams comes up with a plan to ensure West Indies remain strong again in Test cricket. The private leagues will pull players. They are opportunities for youngsters to make a living. But I hope it doesn’t do much damage. If you have a structure in place, and guidelines on how to go about things, you’ll see the effect.”

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Monday, December 06, 2021