April 24, 2003

Lara: The bowling is a concern

Wisden CricInfo Staff

Brian Lara "We are batting well as a team but it is the bowling that is of concern. We are still allowing the Australians to score too quickly, and once we learn to curb this we will be all right.

"I'm happy to get a 100 but in the situation I was supposed to get more to save the West Indies and that did not happen."

Steve Waugh "It was a great hundred. I don't think I've ever seen him [Lara] hit a bad hundred and he's a great player. It was a great battle, great Test match cricket to watch - a quick bowler bowling as fast as he can against a world-class batsman. It was tremendous Test match cricket but I don't mind Brian getting 100 if we're going to win.

"I play for us to win, I'm not interested in putting them out of the game. I wanted as many overs as possible for us to win the Test match. I didn't see any point in batting on for the sake of it, I was just interested in giving us time to take wickets. You have to risk something to gain something. If West Indies were good enough to get 407 runs then congratulations to them but I will always back our bowlers to take ten wickets. It was a tough game, taking 20 wickets on this pitch was never going to be easy on this pitch and we had to work really hard to do it.

"I thought Andy Bichel's spell was crucial. Those three wickets after lunch really turned it around for us because at that point the game was probably 50-50. The West Indies would have thought they were a chance of winning the game, so it was a couple of handy wickets there."