Cricket

Love KL Rahul’s style, says Brian Lara

Up-to-date: Despite having retired 13 years ago, Lara keeps himself informed of events in world cricket.

Up-to-date: Despite having retired 13 years ago, Lara keeps himself informed of events in world cricket.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

‘He's got the skills to play all forms and secure his place’

It’s been 13 years since Brian Lara quit the international scene, but the West Indies icon still keeps a tab on world cricket and considers K.L. Rahul his favourite batsman.

“Rahul is just class… he is my favourite. He is a great entertainer and a great person to watch bat,” Lara said here on Monday.

Skillful

The former West Indies captain, however, clarified that even though India captain Virat Kohli is the best batsman in the world at the moment, he personally enjoys Rahul’s style of play.

Despite enjoying success in the limited-overs series, Rahul was left out of India’s Test squad against New Zealand last month, raising a few eyebrows. But, Lara — here for the UnAcademy Road Safety World Series, where he is captaining West Indies Legends — said Rahul has the skills to make it to any team, irrespective of the format.

“I don’t know (why he was not included). I just know that with his technique and the way I see him bat, he should not have a problem being in any team,” the 50-year-old said.

“He's got the skills to play all forms of the game and to secure his place. He should be one of the first names after Virat Kohli in any Indian team,” Lara stated.

The West Indies legend — not a big fan of day-night Tests — also believes it is time the longer format of the game is revived.

“When I was a kid, Test was the form of the game everybody wanted to watch. We had thousands of people outside Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad. We would wait to get inside to watch a Test at six o'clock in the morning. That's not the case today.

“ Obviously, the game has evolved and it's a lot more attractive — the shorter versions of the game. But my only concern really would be to see if we can get Test cricket to shine again.”

But what should be done?

“I think they have created that love and respect for the game in England and also in Australia in terms of a Boxing Day Test, or even any Ashes series, that’s played there. That has to come back,” Lara said.

Proper marketing

“A couple of Test matches isn't going to increase the love for the game.

“Growing up, we wanted to be Test cricketers, while a kid now wants to be a T20 cricketer. Why? Because T20 is marketed in that way for kids.

“So, the marketing of the sport is important. And if we are not doing that, it doesn't matter how many Test series you have,” he said.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 3:56:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/love-kl-rahuls-style-says-brian-lara/article31025932.ece

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