Brian Lara Masterclass: how to bat like the West Indies legend
West Indies legend Brian Lara gives Sky Cricket a rare insight into his batting style and stroke-play.
Last Updated: 12/08/14 1:57pm
With close to 12,000 Test runs for the West Indies to his name - including a world record 400no against England in April 2004 - the legendary left-hander's place in history is assured.
Sky Cricket's Ian Ward travelled to Trinidad to find out what makes the great man tick and the skills and attributes that made him such a formidable opponent on the pitch.
Episode One - The Early Years
Wardy finds out about Brian's early days growing up in Port of Spain, including the influence his father had on his development as a cricketer and where his attacking flair came from. Brian shares his reflections on his debuts for Trinidad and the West Indies, the latter against a strong Pakistan line-up, and explains why it took him so long to earn his second cap! In Part One of Lara's Masterclass, Brian talks Wardy through the key elements of his grip, stance and trigger movement and discusses which bowler he found toughest to face.
Episode Two - Attacking stroke-play
Brian goes on the offensive in Part Two of Lara's Masterclass, displaying some of the shots that have been the scourge of bowlers throughout his career. And what a range of strokes it is! First of all Brian talks Wardy through his technique for attacking on the front foot, including how he plays the cover drive and the importance of good balance and getting his head in line with the ball. Brian moves on to explain how he uses his hands to bring in more variation and dictate how the bowlers bowl to him by attacking in all areas, including how he can play the same ball to mid-off or through backward point depending on where the fielders are.
Episode Three - Scoring off the back foot
Fast or slow, Brian loves to dominate bowlers as he demonstrates in Part Three of Lara's Masterclass. Never afraid to take on the fast bowlers, Brian talks Wardy through how he takes on the short ball and tries to execute the shot as perfectly as possible by keeping his head very still and transferring his weight according to the length. One of Brian's favourite shots, though, is the late cut which he is equally adept at whatever the pace of the ball. Watch the video to see how he adjusts his body shape and hands to be in the best possible position depending on the pace of the delivery.