By Sudipto Ganguly
MUMBAI (Reuters) – Brian Lara says Australia should have allowed David Warner to try and break his world record score of 400, and the West Indies batting great considers the Indian duo of Rohit Sharma and Prithvi Shaw among his favourites to better the mark.
Opening batsman Warner scored an unbeaten 335 in the recent day-night test against Pakistan at Adelaide Oval but captain Tim Paine’s declaration robbed him of the chance to push for Lara’s world record.
Lara was coincidentally present in Adelaide on the day Warner scored the triple ton to go past Don Bradman and Mark Taylor’s highest scores of 334.
“I actually felt it was kind of destiny, being in Adelaide at the same time something like that was about to unfold,” the 50-year-old told Reuters before teeing off the Habitat for Humanity India Charity Golf event in Mumbai.
“I felt that he should have been given an opportunity to go after it.”
Australia wrapped up the second test with more than a day to spare to register a 2-0 win in the series and Warner has said Paine’s decision had his backing.
Lara, who lent his support to the charity which provides shelter for underprivileged sections of the society, said he appreciated Paine’s intent to declare and force a result with rain forecast on the last two days of the match.
“Obviously, Australia was going to declare but it felt like give him another five or 10 overs, maybe even tell him because he is a very good Twenty20 batsman,” Lara said.
“If you tell him ‘hey get into that T20 mood and see if you can go for it’. I think it would have been great to see and records are made to be broken.
“Of course they have great respect for Sir Donald Bradman and his achievements, but I feel that maybe he could have had a little go at it.”
An avid golfer post his retirement from the game in 2007, Lara met Warner at the Australian Open golf pro-am on Wednesday.
“When I met him I asked him ‘what happened?’ He said ‘this whole thing is cool’. That’s about it. We didn’t focus on that, we were about to play golf,” said Lara, before bursting into laughter.
“I think it’s important that you understand it’s nothing that you can set your sights on. I believe that it has to be destiny, has to be the perfect situation.
“If it happens, I think it’s just going to be an unbelievable experience for the person and it’s going to be good for cricket.”
Lara, who scored his mammoth 400 not out against England in 2004 at Antigua, said there are quite a few players around the world that have the opportunity to go past his record but they have to be of attacking mould.
He mentioned experienced limited-overs opening batsman Rohit, who has the highest score of 264 in 50-over cricket and is the owner of three double hundreds in the format, and young Shaw as likely candidates.
Last year Shaw scored an attacking 134 on his debut as a 19-year-old against West Indies and followed up with a 70 and unbeaten 33 in the second test against the Caribbean side but his career has since been blighted by injuries and a doping ban.
“A guy like Rohit Sharma who you know you wonder if he’s still a test cricketer or not,” Lara said of Rohit, who has made a fresh start to his test career by moving up to open the innings for India.
“If he gets going on a good day, on his day, on a good pitch, right situation he can do it.
“It will need an attacking option. I know he’s fell off the radar a little bit, Prithvi Shaw was one of those attacking options. Hey, here’s a 19-year-old who has the world in front of him, hopefully he can come back soon.”
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Christian Radnedge)