Ahead of the two-match Test series against India, former Windies legendary cricketer Brian Lara pointed out that the West Indies appear to be on the right track. Lara had volunteered to work with the team at the ongoing camp in Antigua before the first Test, which begins on Thursday, August 22. He expressed that he was happy to join the group and share all his knowledge and experience.
The man who scored a lethal 400 not out in Test cricket, and an explosive 501 not out in first-class cricket, said –
“I decided to join the camp simply because I feel this present crop of West Indies players, especially in the Test arena, is the right group of players. The talent that’s within is there. The performance against England to win a series at home, I think is the start of something really good for us. We must lay the foundation at home first before we travel abroad in foreign conditions to sort of take command of situations.”
Earlier this year, West Indies defeated England 2-1 to win the prestigious Wisden Trophy on home soil.
Lara praised head coach Floyd Reifer and the young players for their focus and hard work.
“From what I’ve seen in the camp is intense practice which is good. I think the intensity I’ve seen in this camp is very good. The young players are working hard, Floyd Reifer and his team are actually putting things together pretty good.”
“I’m hoping that I can impart some type of knowledge, some of my experiences in the past to the young batsmen especially that we have in the team to see if we can get a little bit more out of them because it’s necessary. It’s a good group of young players, we just have to get them thinking in the right way,” he added.
The 50-year-old has played 131 Test matches for the West Indies and is hailed as one of the greatest batsmen of the gentleman’s game. He is the highest run-getter in West Indies Test history with 11,953 runs including 34 centuries.
Lara concluded by saying that the correct mindset was crucial for succeeding in five-day cricket.
“Where I feel I can make an impact is their mental approach to the game. I feel as if I was to strike on one thing that I was decent at was mentally where I prepared myself strongly. The practical side is there for the young players but I feel mentally they can grow a little bit and learn a little bit more,” he signed off.
The first Test will take place from August 22 to 26 at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in North Sound, Antigua. It will be followed by the second Test scheduled from August 30 to September 3 at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.