Monday, November 28, 2011

Curious case of a Masterpiece and his Mastercopy

Since the day I saw Brian Charles Lara batting, I became a huge fan of his batting. I still am and will forever be.

Lara's 375 was my most cherished moment in his career (I am sure it was his too). That number tells a different story altogether. He had the patience and concentration level to play for long. He was always an entertainer when he was at the crease. He is the last legendary cricketer from West Indies. After 10 years of that record remaining intact, Matthew Hayden overtook him by scoring 380 against the hapless Zimbabwean side. How did Lara respond? He came back and scored 400 (not out)!! And needless to mention, that record remains intact. And with T20 mushrooming, his record might remain for a long time to come.

Lara's departure from the international stage left a huge void in the West Indian outfit and that void remains till date. Since his retirement, West Indies have fallen into a pit and have never crawled back. They tried various ways to make a comeback but lost out on consistency. They need someone of Lara's calibre and finesse to be the main stay in their batting order. Someone who can play as good as Lara!! Personally, after Lara left the scene, my interest in cricket also dipped (a little) though I still follow cricket and keep track of the results, the interest I had in the sport has reduced. I treat Lara, Sachin and Dravid in the same league and there is no one who can be as good as the three aforementioned champions!!

You see, cricket fanatics belonging to my age group have followed cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Md. Azharuddin, Brian Lara, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Herschelle Gibbs, Aravinda De'Silva, Wasim Akram, Anil Kumble, Murali et al. This is my list of favorites. I won't include Kambli in the list simply because he hasn't played enough games and he is going through too many self induced turmoil - read this post for more. One thing common among this group is that either the player has retired from international cricket or he is about to retire!! What happens after all of them are no longer playing? I won't stop watching Cricket right? I will follow some cricketer of whom I will be a fan. But the current crop of youngsters are more inclined towards fast food matches (Read: T20) than having a whole meal (Read: Tests).

Enter Darren Bravo.
Guess who?
Darren Bravo happens to be Brian Lara's cousin (Lara and Bravo's mother are cousins). He is touted as a Lara look-alike by cricketing pundits. Not exactly 'look-wise' (some may argue) but the way he bats. And boy, does he deliver? He himself will admit he has a long way to go to prove he can fill Lara's shoes. But he has made a start, and a start similar to what Lara had made. Still, for those skeptics who believes in statistics to compare 2 cricketers, here is a sample:


Not only that, in his 13th test, Lara scored 167 runs and guess Bravo's score: 166!! His 166 was as good as any innings I have seen off late from any non-Indian cricketer. It had class written all over it. Lost out by a single run!! Maybe this was Bravo's way to prove he is still not as good as Lara, maybe just a step behind!!

Behold, there is a new boy in town, and if you were a Lara fan, you will surely love this chap. You may not replace Lara entirely as your personal favorite, but you can surely relive those Lara moments through Darren Bravo. Need more reasons to watch Test cricket now, he's surely one of them.

The Masterpiece has left the ground. His Mastercopy has just entered. Rejoice!!

13 comments:

  1. Nice compare man.. n yes, the similarities r quite smashing.. lets hope the mastercopy soon becomes the masterpiece :)

    Nicely written, Binu:)

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  2. Thanks guys..

    @Raj: I will be hoping for the same too yaar..

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  3. Hehe, I do not understand very much of cricket.. Here in Norway we only play this game in camping with family:-)

    Thanks for your nice comment!

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  4. I always have pleasure reading ardent cricket fan, the kind of passion you get to read is awesome to say the least :) You know why I like? A good friend of mine is a Sachin Bhakt...he is the most passionate cricket fan I have met to date and thus, I appreciate it when someone writes about cricket :)

    And Lara to Lara hai :D

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  5. @Chintan: And I thought you might not like a sports related post!! :D

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  6. Great work Binu, my mother would have loved this post. I wish she could read it.

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  7. He looks a carbon copy of Lara... Same backlift, similar stance, similar mannerisms...
    The guy has got talent too, he will be a big name in a few years...

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  8. Thanks Saru and Arti :) He will be a big name, provided the West Indies board treats him properly..

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  9. Masterpiece and His Master copy, Nice title :-).
    And I'm not a fan of a particular cricketer. I watch the game and I've noticed that each of them have their own style.
    I've noticed that players who are consistent are the ones who've played a lot of "Test Cricket" and true to its name, it teats the real capability of the players. These days when players are selected based on their performance in T20, they simply aren't able to deliver much.

    Let's see if this Lara puts WI back on the map!

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  10. Lara is a legend and will always be!and I hold him in high regard because of his terrific skills but I still feel he made a mistake,yes I'm talking about that innings in which despite of his record score,The WI didn't manage to win the test.He's such a genius to be criticized..,maybe a freak mistake of swaying for the records instead for the team.....looking forward to read more of your cricket articles in sports section(and maybe write mine too!)..an avid cricket follower.

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  11. Nice to meet a cricket follower here!! :) I feel when someone scores as much as 400 himself, it is more or less a drawn test match unless the opponent plays poorly..

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All yours..

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