South Africa v West Indies, 1st Test, Jo'burg, 3rd day December 14, 2003

Lara: 'Dravid and Laxman inspired me'

Wisden Cricinfo staff



Brian Lara powers towards his hundred
© AFP
Brian Lara: To get my first hundred against South Africa, away from home after 12 tests was very pleasing and the team needed it. The bowling was good but the pitch played very good. I struggled to get set but batting with Ganga reminded me of batting with Jimmy Adams and had a very steadying influence on me. Once set I am an attacking batsman and try as hard as I can to get as much as I can.

When Peterson came on during the second-last over the field was all up and I played every ball on its merit, the players were up and I went over the top. I did not know that 28 was a record and just did what I thought was right.

Today you saw a different Brian Lara, From what I learnt from Jimmy [Adams] and Carl [Hooper] I have become a more determined player and a better captain.

I woke up early this morning and watched the Indians play against Australia. Australia and South Africa are teams that the rest of us want to do well against and I took the impetus from Dravid, Laxman and Patel and played today from their strength.

Eric Simons: It was a hard day but I am really happy with the way we bowled, especially in the first and last session. It is two good teams and a good contest. On another day we could have bowled worse and come away in a better position. The Nel vs Lara contest was a good experience for the bowler bowling at one of the best batsmen in the world. He has picked up a lot of pace after some technical changes and losing some weight.