Brian Lara talks about the aspects of T20 cricket that has caught his attention while he remains worried that paddle scoops and reverse slog sweeps will hamper the techniques of young players who want to play all formats of the game. Brian Lara also believes that the best modern-day players in the ranks of KL Rahul will always find a balance between all three formats.
Brian Lara who has the highest score in Test history now loves watching the shortest format by commentating from the Star Sports Select Dugout studios in Mumbai in the IPL every evening by analyzing fielding moves from Deano demo-zone named after late Dean Jones besides making several predictions on batting and bowling.
Brian Lara: Likes Of Jasprit Bumrah And Jofra Archer Should Be Counted In Any Era Of Cricket
Brian Lara said that yesteryears best batsmen would not practice power hitting which has changed nowadays with the likes of Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and even Sunil Narine spending time practicing the same.
“These guys do a lot of power-hitting in practice. There was no such practice 30 years ago. Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd or Gus Logie, none of them would practice power-hitting. But now, Pollard, or even Sunil Narine will spend a certain amount of time power-hitting.
“The minute you can hit a six over 100-110 metres, from that day onwards you are going to be confident that you can clear every single boundary. When you look at Pollard, the guy at the boundary makes no sense to him. As long as he middles the ball, he knows the guys in the deep are not in play,” he said.
He feels the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer should be counted in any era of cricket, but he should have preferred batting against the likes of Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath and Manoj Prabhakar.
“I can only say this: Bumrah and Archer could stand up and be counted in any era of cricket. And I am not belittling anyone from the past. But these two would be in the echelons of fast bowling in any era I have watched, played in, or am still watching.”
“I think I would’ve preferred facing Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath and Manoj Prabhakar rather than Bumrah (laughs). But yes, the challenge would have been exceptional. I know I would not have backed away.”
Brian Lara feels the only negative to T20 batting is not a lot of reliance on technique as the batsmen have to score quick runs by power hitting. Likes of Shubman Gill face technical flaws as he is under pressure when bowlers are economical. But KL Rahul is destructive besides keeping his technique as an all-format batsman.
“The only negative (to T20 batting) is that there is not a lot of reliance on technique in the shorter format. So, with a wonderful player like Shubman Gill I am seeing some technical flaws coming in. I think it’s the natural progression of wanting to spank the ball. But then, a batsman like KL Rahul has kept his technique, and you can’t tell if he is playing a T20 or ODI or a Test match when he is batting. He is so well polished.”
“Viral Kohli plays, and is successful, across all formats. You look at some guys who are playing in IPL, they haven’t played the longer format and their game is based around T20,” Brian Lara on Virat Kohli.
Brian Lara has a piece of advice to youngsters to keep the foundation of the game and good technique while playing T20 cricket.
“I know there is Ranji Trophy and 4-day cricket, but just don’t lose the fundamentals of the game. So, my foundation from 3-day-cricket and experience from ODI cricket was used to further my Test cricket, which was the right way of doing it.
“That’ll be my advice to these wonderful young batsmen: Keep the foundation of your game and good technique, even if they are playing T20 in the biggest league in the world.”
He said that the reason for Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami’s success stands out because they bowl Test match lengths in T20s by looking to hit the seam and stumps or try to get the edge of the bat.
“Why Bumrah and Shami are so successful is because they bowl Test match lengths in T20s. You don’t see them overdoing the slower balls. They look to hit the seam, hit the stumps. Or they try to get the edge of the bat, bowl sharp and short balls and get batsmen in trouble,” on adjustments by pacers like Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami
Brian Lara holds the record for the highest individual score in a Test innings after scoring 400 not out against England at Antigua in 2004 and has more than 10,000 runs in both Tests, and ODIs.
Brian Lara Loves Sanju Samson’s Abilities While Suryakumar Yadav Is His Favourite
Brian Lara loves Sanju Samson’s ability as he is an unbelievable player in terms of range and potential while Suryakumar Yadav according to him repairs the damage by continuing onslaught even if Mumbai Indians lose an early wicket. He, however, feels IPL debutant Devdutt Padikkal has to work on his technique to survive in Test cricket.
“Sanju Samson has got tremendous ability, tremendous timing. Suryakumar Yadav has become one of my favourites. If your best player is not an opener, he has to bat at No.3. I have enjoyed watching him play in this IPL.”
“Padikkal has a lot of potential. I would like to see him change a few things though. Ultimately when I judge a batsman, I don’t want to see him play only the IPL or T20s, I want to see him play Test cricket as well,” Brian Lara stated.
Devdutt Padikkal is so far 6th among leading run-scorers in IPL 2020 with 472 runs in 14 matches.