It was nonetheless important to learn that during the current series Lara has been helping Chanderpaul and a number of players on and off the field of play.
Commentators have commented that Lara has been able to help the captain in making a better presentation of himself on the field.
Dwayne Bravo, for whom Lara is a cricket mentor, lauded the cricketing genius for his timely advice in respect of how best to confront the twin spins of Shane Warne and Stuart McGill.
Bravo stated that after he was out in the first innings of the second test he went to Lara’s room and asked for advice on how to respond to the leg spinners. He was told, among other things, how to play the sweep shot effectively and to adopt a mind set that he does not have to go after everything that appears to be going outside the off stump.
Bravo told the media that throughout the innings of more than a century, he kept reminding himself of Lara’s advice.
For too long Lara’s advice seems to have been absent from the young players, fopr whatever reason.
Now that he seems much more mature and still blessed with tremendous eye sight and a penchant for scoring big, his continued encouragement to young players could only redound unto the benefit of the game in the region.
Bravo and Ramdhin
For some time there has been talk of the remarkable wicketkeeping skills of young Ramdhin. He was outstanding for the West Indies in the ICC’s Under 15 Tournament and then at the ICC’s Under 19 Tournament. He has been considered an outstanding prospect since quite small.
Now that Ramdhin has been given the opportunity he has grasped it with both hands and showed the world that he is intent on becoming one of the game’s legendary wicketkeeper batsmen.
From his very first test match Ramdhin showed a levelheadedness and experience that was most encouraging for the game and for the team. He has been decidedly mature in his approach and has been given to providing much support for his teammates at every turn.
Now down under Ramdhin has shown an eagerness to prove himself with the gloves and the bat. Behind the stumps he has been simply remarkable and has already won countless admirers. His is a bright future.
Dwayne Bravo has come on by leaps and bounds.
At the commencement of the first test, Michael Holding lamented the decision by the selectors to have omitted him from the squad. He observed than that Bravo brings a spirit to the game and can also bat.
Holding has already recognized the talent of young Bravo and urged those in authority to cultivate it.
From the very first ball he faced in the second innings of the second test Bravo displayed a level of confidence that belied his years.
His century was well earned against the best team in the world.
Ray of hope
Ramdhin’s 182 run partnership with Bravo in the second test may well have shown the wily Australians that here are two young men who are prepared to do whatever is required to stem the tide of their near-relentless onslaught.
With the established batsmen already back in the pavilion it was certainly entertaining cricket that these two provided.
There approach to their partnership reminded West Indians everywhere of times past when we all looked forward to meaning responses to any total by our opponents on the field.
Perhaps at the end of the second test we can breathe a small sigh in testimony to what may well be a ray of hope for the future of West Indies Cricket.