West Indies in Australia, 2005-06 November 23, 2005

Warne backs Lara for runs

Cricinfo staff

Brian Lara has stuck to the shadows for a while, but Shane Warne believes he will shine soon © Getty Images

Brian Lara has scored only 102 runs in four innings in West Indies' series against Australia, but has a backer in Shane Warne, who has tipped him for big runs. "Lara has got at least one big innings in him somewhere and he hasn't had that quite yet, so hopefully it's [the] Test match after this one," Warne said. "To me he is probably the most destructive player in my 15 years in cricket that I've played against."

Lara surpassed Steve Waugh as Test cricket's second-highest scorer during the second match at Hobart, and is only 213 away from Allan Border's tally of 11,174. Eight of his 30 hundreds have come against Australia, who were menaced by him as early as his fourth Test, when he struck a memorable 277 at the SCG. "I remember in that Sydney Test when he got 277," said Warne. "If you didn't run him out I think he would still be batting now. He was hitting the gaps every time.

What prompted Warne to speak out for Lara was the sign of old form: a less shuffly, more assured approach. "He looked good in the second innings in Hobart, he looked a lot more settled, he wasn't moving as much and he looked in ominous form, hopefully for us it's not the game where he makes a big one."

Lara has looked back to his last Test at Adelaide for inspiration. "I remember playing the Youth World Cup semi-finals here in 1988 but, most importantly, my last Test match here I got 100," he said in the Trinidad and Tobago Express. "It would be really nice to come to Adelaide again and get some runs finally. I've been here for two months and unable to get any sort or runs. I'm looking forward to it and optimistic that things can turn around for me."