Nothing’s certain in the great game of cricket. No longer a cliche really, rather a hardcore fact. For instance, is it guaranteed that a successful, game changing batsman will definitely become a successful coach?
Which clearly points us to one of the burning questions of the ongoing edition of the IPL 2023 and puts into focus an iconic batsman whose exploits have only made a thrilling sport even more enthralling.
The name is Brian Lara and the current state of mood of the legendary Trinidadian isn’t a happy one.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you wouldn’t know why that is.
But well, facts are facts: Brian Lara as the head coach of the Sunrisers Hyderabad hasn’t really turned out to be a great success; in fact, only the contrary could be regarded as true.
Though, truth be told, long before Lara became the SRH head coach, his other leadership role for the West Indies Cricket team didn’t fetch any massive change in fortunes for the side.
Although Brian Lara is remembered for his outrageous batting skills, his record as a captain did not quite manage to achieve the same level of excellence. Despite his dedication and enthusiasm in leading his team, the success of his captaincy never lived up to that of his batting. Unfortunately, the performance of Sunrisers Hyderabad under his tutelage as the head coach in the ongoing IPL 2023 is not satisfactory and is below all expectations.
Sometimes, it just feels that nothing’s quite going right for the Sunrisers as a team; that’s not to say that individual performances, whether by a Klaasen or Markram or Tripathi haven’t made heads turn.
But Lara’s problem overlaps his batting genius, perhaps pointing to the area of his skill as leader.
Throughout his career, the Prince of Trinidad set a high bar for himself and was one of the greatest students of the game, with an impressive knowledge base. So it’s not reasonable to hold him solely responsible for his team’s poor record as captain or coach since individual achievement plays only a small role in team sports.
Observing him in the dugout, it looks like he is very invested in what he does as a coach. His emotions during the game show that he truly cares about achieving success and not just getting by. Before the IPL tournament began, he gave inspiring speeches to experienced players and rookies alike. He taught them how to tackle difficulties and attain success in the game.
But you ought to say, it’s essential for players to be determined and consistently practice if they want to improve their skills. Moreover, it’s a fact that younger batsmen are lucky to have Brian Lara as a mentor and coach; he has experienced many ups and downs during his career, but he has always managed to come back stronger than ever.
As a mentor, he can only pass on the knowledge and experience he’s gathered from his days as a player and captain.
He can’t actually step in and do the job for them though.
It’s a fact that SRH have some talented players like Aiden Markram, Harry Brooks and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but they are still struggling to make a consistent contribution to the team’s success. Unfortunately, patches of individual brilliance, such as Brook’s rollicking century can only aid in a game, it can’t take the team much too far.
After two consecutive defeats at the start, the SRH contingent responded strongly and won their next two matches, improving their chances of a consistent performance. Unfortunately, they have now returned to square one by losing two matches consecutively and as a result, occupy 9th position on the points table out of ten teams playing in the tournament.
Coach Lara is incredibly disappointed in the batters, as they haven’t applied themselves sufficiently to stay at the crease. He has always emphasised on the need to build partnerships in cricket, something that the SRH team is yet to understand. Losing multiple wickets during a match is detrimental to their outcome, and that’s what happened in the last game against Delhi Capitals – they lost due to being in a winning situation.
It ought to be said, the SRH players should take advantage of the invaluable opportunity to learn from Coach Lara, who is undoubtedly the best batsman ever seen in cricket. Listening and learning from him will be highly beneficial and it is therefore essential that they make the most of this.