Windies are the surprise element: Lara

20th April, 2019 10:12:16 printer

Brian Lara, the former West Indies batsman, believes the Caribbean side are unpredictable, and that consistency will be key if they have to perform well in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, reports

Lara, who is in India as a part of the expert commentary panel for the Indian Premier League, backed his home side to make it to the semi-finals, calling them the “surprise element” in the tournament.

“West Indies will have to play some consistent cricket. We’ve shown that we can beat England or India. We can beat any team on our day. But then we lose against Bangladesh or Afghanistan, and we let it all go away. So, that’s what West Indies have to avoid. I would love to see them get to the semi-finals,” he told the Times of India.

“West Indies, over the last two [T20] World Cups, have been the surprise element. They’ve always been up there in the opposing team’s mind. There have been too many elements joining the dots, gradually but it’s happening. So, I don’t think any country walks into the game against West Indies anymore thinking it’s all over before it starts.

“On the other hand, we are capable of colossal failures, too. So, the surprise element works both ways and that’s where West Indies need to keep working. It’s amazing we have players that are most sought after in the different franchise leagues around the world and can still get together as a team. We’ve got two T20 World Cup trophies to show for that. But consistency is the key,” added the left-hander.

When asked which other teams he thinks will reach the semi-finals, Lara picked England and India to comfortably sail through.

“Normally, I’d never risk backing them because they’ve never failed to lose that one important game,” he said of England. “But this team looks good. So, them and India [are] two teams I believe will definitely be in the semi-finals.”

The West Indies legend, who has over 10,000 runs in one-day internationals, cautioned the batsmen to be wary of conditions in England. “England can be tricky, which is great. When I played in England, I enjoyed it. I think the key to performing in England is knowing your game, knowing your limitations, and playing accordingly, assessing conditions very quickly.

“You’re batting under a cloudy sky, on a damp pitch and suddenly a couple of hours later, it’s all dried out, the sun is out and things turn better. England is all about how quickly you assess that.”