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November 26, 2011
Brian Lara has tipped West Indies batsman Darren Bravo for greatness but also warned him that he will now be targeted by teams. Bravo, who is frequently compared to Lara for the way he bats, has scored three centuries in his previous four Tests - one in Bangladesh and two in India - and Lara said there would be more.
"We haven't won any Test matches in India but I still believe that the young players have done a great job," Lara said. "[Kraigg] Brathwaite, [Adrian] Barath, [Kirk] Edwards and Bravo, of course, they don't even have 50 Test matches between them but they all look very good. Bravo seems to go from strength to strength. It took a bit of time before he got his first hundred, but now he's had a taste of it and he's going to carry on.
"He's got to understand now that a lot of the opposition will start looking at him - the Australians, the English - because he's now a recognised player, and he will come under a bit of pressure. Hopefully, he has the maturity to come out of it."
Bravo's 136 against India at Eden Gardens gave him the same run aggregate and average as Lara had after 12 Tests (941 runs at 47.05). He nearly equalled Lara's score of 167 in his 13th Test, but fell for 166 in Mumbai. Lara, who is the fifth-highest scorer in Tests, said Bravo would be "one of the great players."
Lara was optimistic about the talent of young cricketers in the Caribbean but said the challenge would be for players to stay positive despite West Indies not winning often. "The infrastructure for our cricket is very poor and there's nothing to build on. I still believe that what we're seeing out in the middle is raw talent. I don't believe they're getting what is necessary to harness their talent.
"You're seeing some of the best young players in the world. Hopefully they will hold up under the pressure because it's hard: you're playing cricket, you're not winning, and you've got to make a career for yourself at the same time. Until I see a few things done, administration and infrastructure-wise, I still believe we're going to have those sporadic performances where we're going to beat the best in the world, but it's not going to be on a consistent basis."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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