West Indian batting great Brian Lara on Thursday praised the current Indian pace attack, which reminded him of the deadly West Indian attacks of yore.
The Indian pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami, in 2018, picked the record 142 wickets among them in Test matches.
Asked what makes Indian team special, Lara said: “”It’s the Indian pace attack. Unbelievable. I saw them in the West Indies. When you look at the quality — (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Mohammed) Shami, (Umesh) Yadav — all these guys, and the guys on the sidelines, like Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) are unbelievable.”
“It reminds me a little bit of the (pace bowling) strength that the West Indies had in the 80s and 90s. The reserve strength is very important in assessing a team’s ability. It means that your attack has quality,” Lara added.
Lara, who had scored 11,953 Test runs, was speaking after the launch of ‘Road Safety World Series’, in which he will be a part and lead the West Indian legend team.
Lara was lavish in his praise for Virat Kohli, whom he termed the ‘Ultimate Captain’.
“He’s (Kohli) the ultimate captain. In terms of his performances, he leads by example. And I mean that in all facets of the game, and off the field too. He is came off very well in the background of MS Dhoni, who laid the foundation, and did things in a different way.
“So, I think Indian cricket, as we all know, is headed in the right direction. It’s influenced by some of the best people, and is reaping the benefits of it,” Lara told reporters here.
Lara also seemed happy that a player of Rohit Sharma’s calibre is set to play regularly across formats.
“I think that Rohit is an awesome player in all formats of the game. Obviously, in the limited overs game, he’s been very successful. I don’t see any reason why he should not be in Test cricket. It seems that he has the passion to play and wants to prove himself on that stage (Test cricket) as well.
“To exclude a player like that (from the Test team) will be very difficult, with the talent that I see. So, hopefully, he will be successful. He is a gifted batsman,” said Lara.
Lara, who holds the record for highest individual run scorer in Tests, also welcomed the ICC move of Test Championship, saying it has provided contest to the game.
“I think (World Test Championship should have started earlier). In terms of Test Championship, where there is an end, it culminates into a team becoming Championship, that is something that should have happened a long time ago and happy to see it now. Even if you play against the minnows Afghanistan, Bangladesh it means something.
Meanwhile, Lara also welcomed the appointment of Kieron Pollard as the T20 captain and also felt that West Indies always had talent and it was needed to harness it.