St Johns (Antigua): Cricket legend Brian Lara believes the current West Indies squad needs to work on the mental aspect of the game to compete and dominate the upcoming two-Test series against India starting on Thursday.
Lara alongside Ramnaresh Sarwan was part of the pre-series camp in Antigua ahead of the first Test.
Speaking to Cricket West Indies, Lara said the technical skills and work ethic are present in the 15-member squad, and one area that he identified for greater growth was the mental preparation to play, compete and dominate for five days of a Test match.
“Where I feel I can make an impact is their mental approach to the game,” he said.
“I feel as if I was to strike on one thing that I was decent at was mentally where I prepared myself strongly. The practical side is there for the young players, but I feel mentally they can grow a little bit and learn a little bit more,” he added.
Lara, who played 131 Test matches for the West Indies and is hailed as one the greatest batsman to ever play the game, said he decided to join the camp because he feel this present crop of West Indies players, especially in the Test arena, is the right group of players.
“From what I’ve seen in the camp is intense practice which is good. The young players are working hard, Floyd Reifer and his team are actually putting things together pretty good,” Lara said.
“I’m hoping that I can impart some type of knowledge, some of my experiences in the past to the young batsmen especially that we have in the team to see if we can get a little bit more out of them because it’s necessary. It’s a good group of young players, we just have to get them thinking in the right way.”
Earlier this year, West Indies beat England 2-1 in the three-match rubber to regain the Wisden Trophy for the first time in a decade. They dominated the opening encounter in Barbados and won by a whopping 381 runs. A week later, they backed that up with an equally impressive ten-wicket victory in Antigua.
“The performance against England to win a series at home, I think is the start of something really good for us. We must lay the foundation at home first before we travel abroad in foreign conditions to sort of take command of situations, he said.