Brian Lara: Russell, Pollard form augurs well for Windies cricket

Brian Lara, currently a panellist on Star Sports Select Dugout, says Windies players doing well in this edition of IPL is a good sign for West Indies cricket.

Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell have lit up IPL 2019 with their batting performances.   -  K.R. Deepak

Cricketers from the West Indies have been doing well in this edition of the Indian Premier League. A few players from other nations are also making good contributions. Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell have been pretty consistent and that augurs well for West Indies cricket. Even Chris Gayle has fired on a couple of occasions, but you need to look out for guys who are contributing regularly.

Prithvi Shaw, young and talented, started with a nice 99 and Rishabh Pant, too, is doing well. So, it is safe to say that a lot of young talents are there, and I have enjoyed watching them.

'Shaw plays with a free spirit'

As far as Prithvi is concerned, he loves to score big. In his first Test match against the West Indies, he scored a hundred. He is a very attacking player and plays with a free spirit. I believe, few things have crept into his game and may be also in his mind. This might have happened because he is playing all forms of the game. But I am sure, he will overcome the odds.

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The West Indies players bring their whole-hearted effort in every performance. They are not playing for the West Indies national team, so the IPL is their opportunity to shine. They take this thing very seriously. The IPL gives the players an opportunity to rub shoulders with the Indian cricketers, rub shoulder with players they have played around the world. They are playing to their natural abilities to strike the ball, and that has worked for them.

In the IPL so far, Kagiso Rabada’s bowling has been very good. I have enjoyed Shreyas Iyer’s captaincy for Delhi Capitals. The way he handles his team and tries to bat responsibly is impressive. He is one for the future. So is Shubman Gill. They have shown that you need more than star power to win games.

'Mumbai has all bases covered'

To pull a team in the right direction, you need performances from everybody. This has also brought sanity to the whole situation. There was a belief that in T20s, all you need are game changers. But you need to have a team that has the will power and has the capacity to build partnerships just like a 50-overs game.

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As far as teams are concerned, Mumbai Indians has all its bases covered. They have got two openers in Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock, though Rohit has not fired yet. We all know what de Kock is capable of. Down the order, they have two big hitters in Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard and also a beautiful bowling attack.

KKR may have Russell but they are struggling to put runs in the middle. CSK is very dependent on Mahendra Singh Dhoni. They have won a lot of matches, but all have been low scoring. So, I feel, the team that is looking most dangerous is Mumbai Indians.

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