Cricket is still relevant in the world of sport due to quality players like Virat Kohli, says Brian Lara

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Cricket is still relevant in the world of sport due to quality players like Virat Kohli, says Brian Lara

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SportsCafe Desk

11/04/2018

Former Windies batsman Brian Lara has stated that Cricket has a leader in Virat Kohli and it is due to players like him and England skipper Joe Root that cricket is still relevant in the world of sport. Lara also put his support behind young Prithvi Shaw to do well in Australia later this year.

Brian Lara was the leading batsman for the Windies side for almost two decades and played more than 400 International matches and scored more than 20000 runs in all formats combined. Windies cricket is yet to get out of the transformation stage they entered when Brian Lara retired in the year 2007. Lara recently talked about many topics ranging from the Indian skipper Virat Kohli to the bad phase that the West Indian cricket is going through.

"Virat has been ticking all the boxes. If you look at his fitness level, he never seems to be in fatigue at any point of his innings. His passion for the game is amazing. If you see his numbers, they are great because he focuses on every single aspect of the game. He doesn't seem to shy away from anything. A player can feel at home with a bat in his hand but if someone asks him to run five miles, you can't say no to it. It's about executing things that are uncomfortable to you. He seems to be doing that. It's good that cricket has a leader in him. Players of his quality or someone like Joe Root has kept cricket relevant in the world of sport," he told Cricbuzz.

The young Prithvi Shaw made a scintillating debut against the Windies in the Test series making a century on debut. Lara praised the youngster and said that the latter has what it takes to succeed at the International level.

"Any young cricketer must dismiss fear. For example, everybody is talking about Prithvi Shaw and how he is going to do on bouncy pitches. He has got an inner mental strength, which is very important. Your technique is going to adapt to any condition if your mental strength is strong. I saw him bat against a couple of West Indies bowlers who were bowling around the 140s and he is good. I believe that if he doesn't have a great tour, then it doesn't mean he won't have a great career. He is mentally strong. This is how I went about my career. I had a mental strength that was different from others and I wanted to succeed under any condition," the legendary Trinidadian added.

The current Windies side is a pale shadow of its past which is reflected by their ranking across all the formats. The Windies' side it ranked seventh, eighth, and ninth in T20I, Test and ODI cricket respectively. The only positive for them performance-wise has been their two World T20 titles which they won in 2014 and 2016. Lara explained as to what really ails the West Indian cricket.

"West Indies, once, was everyone's favourite team. But now great players moving to franchise cricket has crippled us. But I don't entirely blame them. They are making a living and if you look at the national contract for limited-overs or Tests and compare that to what a franchise offers, the disparity is huge. Under those circumstances, one needs to have a lot of respect for the maroon cap and I support those guys who choose to play for the West Indies. For those who decide against it, well, I have nothing against them," he added.

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