West Indian legend Brian Lara's free-flowing flair was the hallmark of his batting, and the sight of the left-handed genius in full flight is still cherished by cricket lovers. Lara amassed 11953 runs in Tes cricket and totalled 10,405 runs in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs), and still holds the world record of the highest individual score in Test cricket.
Recently, Lara, who faced some of the premier bowlers in his long career, shared the secrets of his technique at the Star Sports Select Dugout. The 50-year-old explained his trigger movements, and also explained the reason behind the marked difference in his backlift against pace and spin.
"It’s very different how I played fast bowlers," Lara said on Select Dugout.
"Some of them had the same technique and posture. I was a little different. I used to bat on a leg (guard) for fast bowlers and a middle-leg (guard) for spinners. My first movement for fast bowlers was back and cross. For spinners, I actually went forward a bit. Spinners have two ways they can bowl – Short and a good length. The first and most important thing is that you have to pick a spinner from the hand. If you can pick a spinner from the hand then three-quarters of the work is done.
"I am going to get rid of two balls which are easy to play. First is a ball which you can stand and drive and the other one is the short ball which you can pull or cut. One which will worry most batsmen is the one has good length. For me, after I do my trigger the most important thing is to get to the pitch of the ball. If I cannot get to the pitch of the ball and I am left to no man’s land then I tend to smother the spin and cover the entire ball. What I believe is that Kohli and De Villiers who have been struggling with spin are found in no man’s land and are still playing aggressive shots. You can see De Villiers going to the backfoot and is cramped for space. They get caught and bowled or LBW. The got to use their feet or hang back and smother to tackle this," Lara elucidated.
Another Select Dugout guest, Dean Jones enquired about Lara's famous backlift, to which the West Indian replied, "I found that my back lift was pretty quick for the fastball as I felt that I got the rhythm of the fastballs, with a spin it never got that high. I think it is just the fact that somebody is bowling a ninety-five miles an hour, and the next person is only fifty-five miles an hour."
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