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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

‘Indian pace attack reminds me of West Indies of 80s, 90s,’ Brian Lara

West Indies legend Brian Lara stated that the Indian pace attack reminded him of the West Indies pace battery of 80s and 90s.

cricket Updated: Oct 17, 2019 23:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mumbai
A file photo of Brian Lara.
A file photo of Brian Lara.(Action Images)
         

West Indies legend Brian Lara on Thursday heaped praise on the current Indian pace bowling battery, saying it reminds him of the pace attack that helped the Caribbean team dominate world cricket in the past. At one point in time, West Indies had a happy headache of sorts with bowling options like Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Colin Croft and Malcolm Marshall. Lara said India’s depth of top-class bowling resources is a reason why the current fast bowling unit has been so successful.

“I don’t know where it’s coming from but (unlike) what I was accustomed to in the past, this is a bit exceptional,” Lara said here on Thursday. “You know when you look at the quality…(Mohammad) Shami, (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Umesh) Yadav…these guys are unbelievable and the guys you have on the sidelines, it reminds me of what the West Indies had back in the 80s and 90s—the reserve strength is very important in assessing a team’s ability. Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and all these guys are sitting on the sidelines… your attack is a quality (unit),” he said.

Lara, however, stopped short of comparing the teams, saying there’s still some time for that despite India’s current dominance. “The West Indies in the70s and 80s and the Australian team in the 90s and the early part of the 21st century…those teams dominated world cricket. This Indian team has that capability. Obviously at home they’re very strong. But they’re now going abroad and beating opposition, which is great. World cricket is a lot more competitive now. India will have to do it over a period of time—dominate all teams to be considered. But they are a top cricketing nation at the moment,” he said.

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Lara was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Road Safety World Series, a tournament aimed at promoting road safety that will feature retired cricketers from five countries—India, Australia, Sri Lanka, South Africa and West Indies.

The left-handed batsman, who is the highest international run-getter for West Indies across all formats combined, also lauded Rohit Sharma’s new innings as a Test opener. “I think Rohit Sharma is an awesome player. In the limited overs aspect, he has been ultra successful. I don’t see any reason he shouldn’t be (able to replicate that) in Test cricket. To exclude a player like that will be very difficult with the talent that I see. So hopefully he can be successful and I think he’s got the gift,” Lara added.

Asked what he feels has been a factor behind India’s constant improvement, Lara spoke of the legacy left by the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and cricketers of his generation. “The team in the 90s was maybe not the most respected team when they travelled. But now, India on a world stage, anywhere they play, is a force to be reckoned with. I think that stems from years of preparations, the role models that have come through, from Sunil Gavaskar to Kapil Dev, Tendulkar to Rahul Dravid to making an impression on the current bunch,” he said.