Brian Lara: Tendulkar passed on a rich legacy to Kohli

The West Indian great says that India has always played well at home, but now has found more versatile players who can bat in any conditions even abroad.

V. V. Subrahmanyam

Lara said his fascination for golf started when he was in his 20s and feels it is the best sport to break away from the stress of playing cricket.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

West Indian batting great Brian Lara, despite the extreme weather, enjoyed his time at the 18-hole golf course at the Hyderabad Golf Association here today. Lara was visiting the course following an invitation from its member and former Member of Parliament Dr. G. Vivekanand.

The conversation, however, quickly turned to cricket and the West Indian was quick to add that India has always played well at home, but now has found more versatile players who can bat in any conditions even abroad.

“But, one should remember the impetus has been provided by the great Sachin (Tendulkar) at his peak. He passed on a rich legacy to the highly talented youngsters who are ready to take on the world now,” he said.

“Virat Kohli is arguably one of the best batsmen in contemporary cricket and he has his own style of batting. I am not the one to give any ratings or make any comparisons of him with anyone else. And even in captaincy he has his own style which is proving to be very effective.”

On whether he is willing to take up any coaching assignment with the West Indies team, a smiling Lara said that he did not have the coach’s badge right now. “Maybe, after a couple of years when I am qualified to be one, I might think about it,” he added.

“You know the kind of politics prevalent in West Indies cricket. I don’t want to get into that straight away. I am not a politician and never wanted to be one. Whatever help I can give, I always do at a personal basis like helping out Darren Bravo or any other youngster,” Lara said.

Lara felt that West Indies is struggling in the two formats — 50 overs and Test cricket — despite winning T20 World Cup twice because it does not have the kind of experience they have in the shortest format. “In T20 you have the likes of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, who are the most sought after players across the world in this format. We need players of that calibre in the other two formats to excel. The current crop of youngsters lack the vital experience to handle the pressures of that brand of cricket which is again the ultimate test for any cricketer,” he remarked.

Lara said his fascination for golf started when he was in his 20s and feels it is the best sport to break away from the stress of playing cricket. “That is the reason why I always stepped onto the golf courses especially in Australia and New Zealand during my playing days to stay fresh — mentally and physically — for the bigger battles on the cricket field,” he said.

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