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‘India a Tough Opposition But…’: Performance Mentor Brian Lara Hopeful Young West Indies Players Will Step up

Last Updated: July 10, 2023, 13:17 IST

Brian Lara thinks West Indies are capable of churning out impressive performances. (AFP Photo)

Brian Lara thinks West Indies are capable of churning out impressive performances. (AFP Photo)

West Indies are hosting two-time ICC WTC finalists India for two Tests and the legendary Brian Lara says it’s going to be a big challenge for the young team.

West Indies cricket is going through a tough phase with their ODI team failing to qualify for the world cup for the firs time in history. Then last year, their T20I team exited from the group stage itself, failing to enter the Super 12 round.

Not that their performances in Test cricket have been anything impressive. They finished eighth in the nine-team WTC 2021-23 standings.

It’s in the backdrop of such performances that the erstwhile giants of world cricket will begin their campaign of the latest WTC cycle against two-time finalists India from July 12 in Dominica.

Brian Lara, one of the greatest batters to have played the game, has been roped in as the performance mentor for the West Indies and he knows the tough task that awaits his team.

“We have two very important Test matches which start the two-year cycle for us, it is against India. At home and away from home, they are one of the top teams in the world,” said Lara.

“I think the guys are moving in the right direction, in terms of where we started the camp and where we are. It is just a few days off from the first match at Dominica, but it’s a young group, ably lead by Kraigg Brathwaite. But I feel that some of the guys can come into their own in this series, it is a tough opposition but I feel that’s the way we can get the best out of them,” he added.

West Indies recalled spinner Rahkeem Cornwall for the two Tests while also including two uncapped batters Kirk McKenzie and Alick Athanaze for the India series.

Lara has belief that the young players will be able to step up in face of the tough assignment.

“Great capable players, young and of course, you would have loved if they had a lot more experience in the first-class arena but looking at their style of play and attitude, I belief they do have what it takes to perform at the highest level,” he said.

“It may take some time but obviously as an international cricketer if you are entering this stage, no matter what age you enter, you got to learn very, very quickly. And, I think they have that sort of attitude to want to learn and (are) willing to listen,” he added.

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