Sunday, November 27, 2005

The superb Brian Charles Lara

This week a great cricket record fell. Allan Border's most runs in test cricket was surpassed by the Trinidad and West Indian genius Brian Charles Lara. Lara probably the greatest batsman the Windies have produced since Sir Garfield Sobers and perhaps Viv Richards took just 121 tests (to Borders 156) to accomplish this record. The 36-year-old Lara scored his 11,175th run on the second morning of the third Test against Australia in Adelaide. He was eventually bowled by Glenn McGrath for 226 after improving the record to 11,187.

While it is generally foolish to compare cricketers across generations, the felling of such a momentous record merits some speculation. The game changes so much every couple of decades that comparing a Lara to a Sobers or even to a Vivian Richards is probably not valid (or fair). Suffice to say Lara is in thetop 2 batsmen of his generation....the only other contender is Sachin Tendulkar (and maybe Ricky Ponting).

In my heart the Don will always be the greatest batsman who ever donned whites and played this king of all games. Until a batsman can average 99.96 runs after 52 tests, everyone else will only be competingfor the #2 spot. What could the Don have achieved if he did not lose 6 of his best years to WW II. He could have averaged 150 and doubled his output.

So rather than posit a "top 10" batsmen of all timelist- I will submit a "remaining 9" list. In no particluar order for the spot 2-10...

2. Vivian Richards
3. Sunil Gavaskar
4. Sachin Tendulkar
5. Javed Miandad
6. Allan Border
7. Sir Garry Sobers
8. George Headley
9. Sir Jack Hobbs
10. Greg Chappell

How naked a list without Zaheer, Ranji, Weekes,Trumper, Waugh and Boycott....


Blogger John A. Thomas said...

Brian Lara is a genius and it is tribute to his immense gifts that he was able to stake his claim at the pinnacle of the cricket world. Given his history of dispute with the WICB, many lesser players would have probably quit on what would have been an outstanding career under any normal circumstances anyway.

I remember when we met with Gary Sobers in the 90s, he repeated a story to us that after seeing Brian Lara play in a high school match, that this young man would break all the records. He said "Give this boy a chance"... how incredibly prescient.

Is it noteworthy that both of the leading scorers in cricket are left handers? To me, I always felt lefties looked more elegant at the wicket. There are more right handed bowlers in cricket and normal off stump line for a rightie would play well into a left hander's mind set - wonder if this has anything to do with it.

In any case, a superb achievement and one all West Indians and no doubt all cricket lovers the world over are happy for.

10:29 AM  

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