West Indian legend Brian Lara said that the current Windies squad need to strengthen their mental ability and dominate against the mighty Indians in the upcoming Test series. Lara and former cricketer Ramnaresh Sarwan were appointed as batting consultants for the pre-series camp of West Indies ahead of the first Test.
Lara said the 15-member squad for the Test series possess technical skills and work ethics but the area of mental aspect has scope for a greater growth to play, compete and dominate in a five-day match. “Where I feel I can make an impact is their mental approach to the game. I feel as if I was to strike on one thing that I was decent at was mentally where I prepared myself strongly. The practical side is there for the young players, but I feel mentally they can grow a little bit and learn a little bit more,” Lara was quoted as saying to Cricket West Indies.
The veteran of 131 Test matches praised the current batch of Test player from the Carribean islands and said he joined the camp because he felt the management have selected the right group of players for the red-ball cricket. He also lauded the intensity which prevails among this young crop of players and believed the team is working hard to put things together. “From what I’ve seen in the camp is intense practice which is good. I think the intensity I’ve seen in this camp is very good. The young players are working hard, Floyd Reifer and his team are actually putting things together pretty good,” Lara said.
“I’m hoping that I can impart some type of knowledge, some of my experiences in the past to the young batsmen, especially that we have in the team to see if we can get a little bit more out of them because it’s necessary. It’s a good group of young players, we just have to get them thinking in the right way,” Lara further said to Cricket West Indies.
He also highlighted the team’s performance against West Indies earlier this year and said the victory in home series should inspire the team to lay a good foundation at home before thinking about commanding in overseas conditions. “The performance against England to win a series at home, I think is the start of something really good for us. We must lay the foundation at home first before we travel abroad in foreign conditions to sort of take command of situations,” he said.
West Indies had defeated England 2-1 in a three-match Test series to regain the Wisden Trophy for the first time in a decade. The first Test had seen the home team beat the visitors by a whopping margin of 381 runs. They followed up with an equally impressive performance to notch up a ten-wicket victory in the second match.