Cricket Legends Corner: Lara speaks on Sachin

| January 31, 2012

The game of cricket perhaps remains the most common link between the people of India and the West Indies. The history of competition between these two nations over the years, have now become folklores in both the countries.

So when West Indies great Brian Lara visited India in January, cricket obviously came up for discussion. The great West Indies left-hander, who has been to India for a number of times previously, came calling not as a cricketer but as the brand ambassador of Trinidad & Tobago this time. He formed part of the delegation who accompanied the country’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, but with Lara around can cricket remain untouched?

He faced a barrage of questions in the city of Kolkata on the eastern part of India, about the game in which he excelled in his great career.

Lara was also happy to take those questions as easily as he had negotiated different bowlers all over the world throughout his playing days. And if the topic was none other than another great of the game —Sachin Tendulkar, there was no stopping Lara who just spoke his heart out.

Sachin Tendulkar

It was time when along with India, the whole world was waiting for the ‘Little Master’ to reach his ‘century of centuries’ and Lara too was looking forward to that milestone.

He lent a reassuring note in the midst of gathering doubts.

“It’s only a matter of time now,” Lara said. “He is a legend and just too good not to get it.” Lara asserted. The southpaw added that Australian great Ricky Ponting too had not scored a century in two years before hitting one at the Sydney Test against India. So “such things happen even to the best batsmen in the world and Sachin too will get it sooner than later,” Lara said along with mentioning that he too went through such a ‘bad’ period during his playing career.

The West Indian was not only certain about Sachin reaching the milestone but also he felt that it will be difficult to eclipse Sachin’s marks too.

“Most of the milestones Sachin is creating now will remain beyond other cricketers. I feel no one will be able to touch them,” Lara said.

However, he agreed that the burden of expectation might be getting harder and harder on Sachin’s shoulders.

Cricket Legend Brian Lara

“There will be a certain amount of anxiety, some of his own and some from expectations from fans and people around him,” Lara felt. But at the same time Lara agreed that Sachin had lived with this expectation for more than 20 years of his playing days and he only knows best how to handle it, the way he handled the world’s best bowlers year after year.

The West Indian great had later sent a mail to one of the Indian journalists in Australia before the fourth and last Test match between India and Australia at Adelaide. He wished Sachin ‘good luck’ and said he will open the champagne bottle once Sachin hit his 100th ton. “I will be watching the Adelaide Test and will open the champagne once Sachin gets his 100th three figure mark,” he wrote.

However, the 42-year-old had to postpone his celebration along with a million other Sachin fans as the right-hander missed out on his 100th ton at Adelaide as India were whitewashed 0-4 in the Test series.

This was India’s second straight whitewash on foreign soil. Previously they lost 0-4 to England too.

Obviously there was a cry for Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s head. But Lara was not ready to join that force soon.

“It’s too early to judge him (Dhoni) on these,” Lara commented. He felt the Indian team is in a phase of transition and youngsters are coming up strongly. “The transition will only take some time,” Lara felt.

Thank you Lara. India have always watched in awe your great exploits on the field. And now the Indian people salute you for your straight talk and great belief in the ability of Indian youngsters.

And all the Indians will be waiting with you for our very own Little Master’s hundredth hundred. Scores of Indians too believe it will come “sooner than later.”

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Category: Culture & Society, Sports, WICB

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