West Indies batting great Brian Lara has termed India skipper Virat Kohli and England captain Joe Root as the best in the business at the moment.
Kohli, who overcame the 2014 England horror with 500-plus runs in the ongoing five-match Test series, is in an incredible form across formats since the start of 2016. In fact, Kohli is the only cricketer in the world to average over 50 in Tests, ODIs, and Twenty20 Internationals.
Kohli, who recently completed 6000 runs in Test cricket, now has 58 international centuries with only Sachin Tendulkar (100), Ricky Ponting (71), Kumar Sangakkara (63) and Jacques Kallis (62) ahead of him.
Root, on the other hand, has been terrific in Tests and one day internationals averaging over 50 in both the formats.Lara was in New York on Wednesday as part of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Trophy tour. In Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), Lara also talked about how West Indies can get back to the top, his record 400 not out in Tests and more.
“Virat Kohli and Joe Root [are the best active batsmen in the world] while pacemen James Anderson and Kagiso Rabada [are the best active bowlers],” Lara said.
Lara also recalled his record Test score of 400 not out against England in 2004.
“To approach those heights again, which I never thought was possible [personally], was just magical. Even back in 1994 after recuperating from my 375, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t go on to score 400,” Lara said.
Lara also had a few on-field duels with some of the fiercest fast bowlers and wily spinners during his playing days. But the legendary cricketer said Muttiah Muralitharan was the toughest bowler he had faced while Shane Warne was his favourite.
“Muttiah (Muralitharan) always confused me in the early part of our confrontation, whilst Shane Warne didn’t. Having said that, as my innings grew I felt I had more control over Muttiah, whilst Shane seemed to grow in confidence. They were definitely the two best spinners of my time,” he said.
“Shane Warne, he played for the best team in the world during my era, he was, and still is, regarded as the best leg-spinner to play the game. It was a battle I just embraced in some of the largest cricketing arenas,” Lara said.
The 49-year-old also said West Indies need better infrastructure to become a powerhouse in cricket once again.
“We need a far better infrastructure with a far more professional approach from all parties involved. Without this, it’s difficult to imagine West Indies returning to their glory days. We succeeded up to a point on natural ability but the game has changed tremendously and there are far more components that create a winning team,” he said.
Lara is also hopeful of the inclusion of T20 cricket in the Olympic Games in future.
“The T20 format lasts just three hours so I don’t see why it can’t be included in the Olympics. It was nice to see golf get that opportunity again, it’s time for cricket now,” he said.