in the mood, Brian Lara was a genius, no less.
As super success embraced him, Lara was quick to assume the airs of a megastar. Petulance, brushes with authority and stormy personal life began to cast a shadow over his career. For a long time it seemed that he might go the way of so many hugely talented sportsmen like George Best who frittered away their God-given gifts and ultimately destroyed themselves.
It is said that the pressure of expectations got the better of Lara. To his credit, he broke free of the stupor and applied his mind to his batting, returning as one of the greatest rungetters the game has seen. The difference between Lara and Tendulkar - hugely talented as both are in their unique ways - was that Tendulkar remained grounded, a dedicated player, committed team man, modest and content in the security of family life. He never allowed the unprecedented adulation to swamp him, nor did the burden of having to perform constantly stifle him. He sailed along, darling of millions, everyone’s very own endearing Sachin. If he had a flaw, as we have already discussed, it was that he would get carried away by his own brilliance and give his wicket away when there were many, many more runs for the taking.
277 at Sydney in 1992-93, Lara’s first Test hundred, when the West Indies were
desperately defending their status as top dogs, was only advance notice of what
was to follow. Lara emulated Bradman by holding the records for the highest
scores in Tests as well as first-class cricket. Sir Garfield Sobers walked on
to the Antigua Recreation Ground to embrace Lara as the new hero went past his
Test record. In that 1993-94 series against
world had still not stopped applauding Lara when he astounded everyone by
piling up an unbeaten 501 for Warwickshire versus
between, Lara had not relished the slower wickets of
recovered, to the good fortune of cricket-lovers around the world. The first
sign of a turnaround came in 1998-99. That season his stock had slumped to
abysmal depths in
big turnaround eventually came in 2001-02 in the Emerald Island after a
prolonged illness. He began with his 221 off the Sri Lankan bowling at
Matthew Hayden had taken away Lara’s Test record that
season. The Prince of Trinidad, though, was not ready to be dethroned. And so
Hayden had the pleasure, and privilege, of being Test cricket’s top-scorer for
only a few months. Lara returned to the
same venue and against the very opponents of a decade earlier and reclaimed his
coveted record. Again he went to a territory no Test cricketer had treaded
before, reaching 400 before he returned unconquered. He had emulated Bradman by
hitting up two scores of 300-plus in Test cricket.
(Author Indra Vikram Singh can be contacted on email email@example.com).
Published in India by Sporting Links
Paperback French Fold 11 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
Weight 480 grams
Available on Amazon at an attractive price: https://www.amazon.in/dp/8190166859
Indra Vikram Singh's other books available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/s?k=Indra+Vikram+Singh&i=stripbooks&rh=p_6%3AA3HSV0N9AV7NOK&dc&qid=1602408830&rnid=1318474031&ref=sr_nr_p_6_1