Mumbai, Jan 13: West Indian batting great Brian Lara today came in support of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying the under-fire Indian skipper “deserves another chance” despite the drubbings in England and the ongoing tour of Australia.
“I think he deserves a chance. He had success in the World Cup, the T20 World Cup, the 50 over games. I think given his achievements so far, he deserves another chance and everyone should come out and support him,” the 42-year-old left-hander told reporters here.
“Obviously what happened in England and what is happening in Australia, no Indian would be happy with the situation. But a captain has to have the right team for the right condition. Generally it's a difficult period now. However, if you switch the series to India you could see different results,” he said.
The Trinidadian, who has scored nearly 12,000 runs in 131 Tests and crossed the 10,000-run mark in 299 ODIs, felt that the lack of penetration in the Indian bowling attack was weighing on the minds of batsmen.
“What I would say is the bowling department is weak and the pressure weighs on the minds of the batsmen. If the opposition batsmen are regularly going to score 500 runs, it's going to put any batting team under pressure.
“I think India has got a great batting line-up but they would always be under pressure. First of all, if they are not going to get 20 wickets, they are not going to win a Test match. So what are your options...to try and get 400-500 but they (opposition) are going to score 600-700.”
Lara, who along with batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar is considered the best batsman of his generation, also asked the latter's fans to be patient, saying that Tendulkar was in good touch and his much-awaited century was not far away.
“I don't think he is missing the trick. You guys (media) are missing the trick. I watched him bat in the last four innings. He looked flawless. He looked like scoring that elusive hundred every time. Unfortunately, he is up against guys who will not give up. He gets a good delivery, little lapse in concentration...and the opposition fully know that they don't want him to score it against them,” said Lara.
“But Sachin is a great player. Obviously, if he had wanted to score it (100th century) against the West Indies he would have played in the one-day series. We will have to wait for it and appreciate it. Even if it doesn't happen, it doesn't make him a lesser player.”
“He has 99 centuries. Anyone would love to have a record like that. For me, he is the best player in the world, at least the best batsman,” said Lara, who was in the city to attend a function.