Brian Lara: 'Everyone's just looking for robots who can bowl fast'

Brian Lara has attributed the lack of quality pacemen in Windies to inept modern day coaching methods.

Brian Lara believes inexperience, inconsistency and inept coaching have made Windies fare poorly in international cricket.   -  V.V. Subrahmanyam

Batting legend Brian Lara, on Friday,  said the West Indies team has been affected by a lack of leadership, not just on the field but 'at all different levels'.

"As a former player,  I have seen that there's a lot of talent coming through the system. Harnessing the talent and bridging the gap between age-group and first-class, and first-class and international cricket is the biggest challenge," Lara told Sportstar on the sidelines of the fourth edition of Krishnapatnam Port Golden Eagles Golf Championship in Bengaluru.

The former West Indies skipper felt that the inability of the current players to put up consistent performances has hurt the side in the longer format.

"Coaches,  these days,  have a regimented approach to seam bowling.  Back in the day,  the likes of Holding,  Marshal and Garner had their own uniqueness.  Even Fidel Edwards came with his own quirks.  I don't see that in today's pacers. Everyone's just looking for robots who can bowl fast.. That's not how we played our cricket."

 

Shai Hope, who became the first batsman to score a century in both innings of a first-class match at Headingly last year, has struggled to find his foot in five-day cricket. 

"Not just him, if you look at Shimron Hetmyer,  you know that he's good but he has struggled to make it count in Tests. Consistency is where he'll be found wanting," Lara said.

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And it's not just the batting that has been a cause of concern for the Caribbean side. The current state of its pace attack is in stark contrast to the halcyon years of 1970s and 1980s when the likes of Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Andy Roberts made batsmen shiver in their shoes.

Lara attributed the lack of incisiveness to modern day coaching methods. "Coaches,  these days,  have a regimented approach to seam bowling.  Back in the day,  the likes of Holding,  Marshal and Garner had their own uniqueness.  Even Fidel Edwards came with his own quirks.  I don't see that in today's pacers. Everyone's just looking for robots who can bowl fast.. That's not how we played our cricket," Lara noted.

He also talked about the importance of having experienced team-mates in the squad. "Marshal came into the side when Holding and Roberts were still there.  I made my debut with Viv Richards and Desmond Haynes still around.

"We not only learned to do things on our own but also had help from these greats in the game who imparted us their knowledge. That's something that has proved to be a hindrance for the current lot."