Calcutta (The Telegraph): Former Australia captain Ian Chappell feels Brian Lara’s ability to score big runs quickly without putting his wicket at risk makes him a “superior” batsman than Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting.
Lara’s remarkable feat of scoring the only 400 in Test cricket, a triple century and seven double centuries keep him ahead of the trio, Chappell pointed out.
“Lara is the world record-holder with a Test score of 400 and, next to Bradman, he’s the scorer of the most big centuries in Test cricket. That’s a remarkable feat, especially when you consider neither Tendulkar nor Ponting has a triple century.”
“This probably highlights an area where Lara is superior to the other two players under discussion; his knowledge of how to amass big scores,” Chappell wrote in his column for The Daily Telegraph.
Chappell said Lara knew very well which bowlers to target in order to score quickly and which ones could give him trouble.
“He would score quickly in spurts and steadily at other times. Fully capitalising on this knowledge, he was able to achieve huge scores. Since he didn’t put his wicket at risk by trying to score at a rapid rate when the best bowlers were fresh, he was able to maintain a fast run rate by feasting at the opportune times.”
Lara was able to maintain a similar run rate all through his career, Chappell pointed out. “This method also allowed him to maintain a similar run rate from the beginning to the end of his career, something that not even Bradman was able to achieve. Consequently, Lara was able to achieve the most remarkable feat of all; he reclaimed the world record for the highest score in Test cricket 10 years after originally setting the mark.”
Chappell liked Lara’s way of handling the spinners. “I loved the way he played spin bowling and I admired his determination to always do it his way.”