The current Indian pace attack reminds Brian Lara of the West Indian attack of the 1980s which dominated the world of cricket.
The former West Indies captain believes that the Indian pace attack has been exceptional in the recent past, with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in prime form. “It’s unbelievable,” Lara said on the sidelines of Road Safety World Series. “Jasprit Bumrah — I saw him in the West Indies and I don’t know where it is coming from. I must say, what I was accustomed to in the past, in the 1990s, [was a different type of attack]. This is pretty special and exceptional,” the former captain said.
“When you look at the quality — Shami, Bumrah, Umesh Yadav are unbelievable. Then there are guys who are in the sidelines. It reminds me little bit of what the West Indies had in the 1980s and 1990s.”
Lara believes that the reserve strength is very important to assess a team’s ability. “Your reserve strength is very good. [Bhuvneshwar Kumar] and all these guys are sitting on the sidelines, that means your attack has quality.”
The batting legend is also in awe of Rohit Sharma. After staying away from Test cricket for quite a while, Rohit was back in business in the first Test against South Africa, smashing centuries in both innings.
“I think Rohit is an awesome player. That’s the right way to define Rohit, in all variety of the game. Obviously, he has been successful in the limited overs and I don’t see why he won’t be successful in Test cricket. He seems to have the passion to play, he wants to prove. To exclude a player like that would be very difficult given the talent I see in him. Hopefully, he will be successful. He has got the game,” Lara said.
Lara is all praise for Virat Kohli, too. “He’s the ultimate captain. In terms of his performances, he leads by example. And I mean that in all facets of the game, and off the field too. He is came off very well in the background of M. S. Dhoni, who laid the foundation, and did things in a different way. So, I think Indian cricket, as we all know, is headed in the right direction. It’s influenced by some of the best people, and obviously, is reaping the benefits of it.”
There was a time when the West Indies and Australia dominated world cricket and Lara feels India, too, has that chance. “Those teams dominated world cricket. West Indies in 1970s and 1980s and Australia in 1990s and the early part of the 21st century. India has that capability. At home, they have always been very, very strong. They are now travelling well. They are now going abroad and beating opposition, which is great,” Lara said.
“World cricket is a lot more competitive now. Australia in Australia, South Africa, England — India will have to do over a period of time, dominating all teams. They are top nation at the moment.”