The men who will matter
Due to injury Brian Lara has not had much international cricket in recent times. It appears that he is now fit and is looking forward to playing in the World Cup.india Updated: Feb 02, 2003 23:54 IST
Due to injury Brian Lara has not had much international cricket in recent times. It appears that he is now fit and is looking forward to playing in the World Cup. There is no doubting his class and when he is in form, he is a delight to watch. Lara, the diminutive left-handed top order batsman is one of the best batsmen to have come out of the West Indies over the last 50 years.
Sometime back, a question was asked, "Who is the world's best batsman, Sachin Tendulkar or Brian Lara ?" Tendulkar won the debate because he was more consistent than Lara, yet it is Lara who holds the batting records for highest score in an innings, both in tests and first class.
In one-day cricket, Lara has a highest of 169, a batting average of 42.64 with 15 hundreds and 48 fifties. He is a run machine and if the West Indies are to succeed, they will need the services of an inform Lara.
Lara's strengths lie in his ability to play positively and to play a full range of shots. He needs to be given the license to play with freedom - his cuts, pulls, drives, lofted shots and the use of his feet to get to the spinners and hit the boundaries. Lara has a very acceptable strike rate of nearly 79.
When Lara is struggling for form, he looks ungainly as he jumps around the crease, hurrying his shots and has been susceptible to balls pitching around the off stump, often getting out lbw, or nicking out to the wicket-keeper, or getting caught in the slips. Glenn McGrath, the Australian fast bowler, is his bogey bowler and McGrath often dismisses the little maestro.
If the West Indies make the Super Six, that battle is likely to continue if these two teams meet. (GE Features)
First Published: Feb 02, 2003 23:54 IST