Lara - Bravo can follow in my steps
Windies legend Brian Lara has tipped his cousin Darren Bravo to keep it in the family and emerge as a cricketing superstar just like he did 18 years ago.
Watch Bravo this week and it will be like watching a carbon copy of Lara, in his mannerisms and the way he strikes the ball, there is no doubt who he modelled his game on.
And although a world record like Lara scored in 1994 and again in 2004 might be asking a bit much from Bravo this time around, the 43-year-old is convinced the little boy he used to watch playing street cricket in Trinidad can become world class.
“I think he has the potential to go the full way,” said Lara. “As a former cricketer you quickly accept the fact that as you get to the international level, the talent and potential that you have is a very small part of actually making it.
“I believe he has the desire and the mental approach which is by far more important than the physical ability to do so.
“Obviously there are some similarities between how he approaches his game and how I did many years ago and that is something we smile and talk about whenever we speak.
“I believe he has the ability without a doubt but speaking to him I believe he has the mental strength and dedication needed too. I am sure he will be a world class player.
“Driving through the village in Santa Cruz, I would stop and see him with one hand holding his shorts up and the other with a bat in it. Now he is a bit more powerful than I was at his age.”
Bravo has made a decent start to his Test career so far, averaging almost 50 from his first 16 matches, but the Windies batting lineup remains fragile, which is why Lara is upset his old team-mate Shivnarine Chanderpaul won’t move up the order from No.5.
“If I was going to be a little critical of the batting line up at the moment it would be that the top four lack experience,” he added. “I would like to see Chanderpaul maybe jump up to No. 3.
“Your best batter is going to be at No. 3 - he is the one who is going to lay the foundations to win a match. If your best batter is coming in five, repairing damage I don’t understand the logic in it.
“It beats me why not. If he can be so consistent why he wouldn’t say let me bat with some more experienced and talented players up the order.”