January 15, 2001

Adams warns Lara ready to explode

Brent Read

SYDNEY - Captain Jimmy Adams today warned the West Indies' tri series opponents that star batsman Brian Lara was ready to explode after his recent run of outs.

Lara has threatened to post a century several times this summer, but only twice has he gone on with it - against Australia A in Hobart and Australia in the third Test at the SCG.

On the second occasion the 31-year-old made 182, but he slipped back into a form slump for the remaining two Tests and has carried that form into the one day series.

Against Zimbabwe and Australia at the weekend he showed flashes of his undoubted ability as he got starts in both games.

But on both occasions his weakness outside off stump, a problem which has plagued one of the world's most gifted batsman all summer, was exposed.

Adams and the rest of the West Indies squad arrived in Sydney this afternoon with the captain warning his side's star charge was ready to turn a start into a big score.

"I think it's a matter of time before Brian explodes," Adams said.

"It's a situation where it will be at the right time.

"I'm quite confident in his ability to come good when it matters."

Lara was not as forward when asked how he was feeling, simply offering a thumbs up before joining his teammates on the bus as they headed to their hotel.

But if Adams' warning proves to be prophetic, Australia could be the first recipients of a Lara lashing when the sides meet at the SCG on Wednesday.

The West Indies are likely to make several changes to their side as they try and iron out the crinkles in their bowling attack before Wednesday's game.

Mark Waugh and Adam Gilchrist toyed with the Windies' attack last night as Australia cruised to a nine wicket win in Brisbane.

"You can try a few things especially in one day games," Adams said.

"You have opportunities to experiment a bit and we'll probably be doing that as we go on.

"In these games you have to experiment with the right combination."

And the Windies' fielding, which has been a bugbear of the side all summer, was also due to come in for some extra attention.

Dropped chances have cost the tourists all summer and nowhere was it more evident than last night as Wavell Hinds dropped an early sitter off Gilchrist, with the stand-in Australian captain making the Windies pay.

"It's something that we are continually working on," assistant coach Jeff Dujon said today.

"I think it's lifted somewhat but we're still very inconsistent.

"We can't afford to drop crucial catches and expect to do well. We have to clean that up."