Brian Lara: I think Rohit Sharma is awesome in all formats

Updated: Oct 18, 2019, 07:43 IST | Subodh Mayure | Mumbai

West Indies legend Brian Lara pulls out the praise brush for Rohit Sharma, who was recently picked to open in Test cricket

India's Rohit Sharma plays a shot on day 4 of the first Test against SA in Vizag recently. Pic/AFP
India's Rohit Sharma plays a shot on day 4 of the first Test against SA in Vizag recently. Pic/AFP

Former West Indies captain Brian Lara sees no reason why Rohit Sharma shouldn't be as accomplished a batsman in Test cricket as he is in the limited overs variety. Lara addressed the media on the sidelines of a Road Safety World Series League T20 tournament in Mumbai yesterday.

When mid-day asked the cricket legend about Rohit, was recently given the job as Test opener, Lara said: "I think [he] is an awesome player in all formats. Obviously, in the limited overs game, he's been successful. I don't see any reason why he should not be in Test cricket. It seems he has the passion to play and wants to prove himself on that stage [Test cricket] as well. To exclude a player like that [from the Test team] will be very difficult with the talent that I see. So, hopefully he'll be successful.

Batting icon Sachin Tendulkar launched the league which has another willow icon — Sunil Gavaskar — as its commissioner.

Lara also heaped praise on Team India skipper Virat Kohli: "He is the ultimate captain. In terms of performances, he leads by example in all facets of the game; off the field too. He has came off very well in the background of MS Dhoni, who laid the foundation and did things in a different way. Indian cricket, as we all know, is headed in the right direction. It's influenced by some of the best people and is reaping the benefits of it," said Lara, who scored 11,953 runs in 131 Tests and 10,405 runs in 299 ODIs. He will lead the West Indies team in the tournament to be played at Mumbai and Pune in February 2020.

BrianWI Cricket legend Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar during the launch of a T20 veterans tournament at the St Regis, Lower Parel yesterday. Pic/ Bipin Kokate

Lara also spoke on India's bowling strength. Not only did he hail the pacemen, he also felt they reminded of the West Indian pace attack which troubled batsmen the world over in the 1980s and 1990s.

"It's unbelievable. I saw them [Indian pacers] in the West Indies. I felt that I didn't know where it's coming from. I must say what I was accustomed to in the past in the 1990s and the early part of the 21st century…this is a little bit exceptional; this is pretty special. When you look at the quality...[Jasprit] Bumrah, [Mohammed] Shami, [Umesh] Yadav…all these guys, and the guys on the sidelines, like Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar)] are unbelievable. It reminds me a little bit of the [pace bowling] strength that the West Indies had in the 80s and 90s. The reserve strength is very important in assessing a team's ability. It means that your attack has quality," added, Lara, 50.

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