It has been ten years since the majestic Brian Lara made the world record of scoring 400 runs in an innings. A milestone that has never been broken by any player. Many have tried and came close but all failed.
I remember sitting in front of the television and see Brian Charles Lara playing those strokes against the English bowlers. Every shot showed what a class batsman that player was. His cut shots, working the ball through the gaps and the lofty sixes were just like a magician waving his wand, decimating the opposition at both ends.
Ten years after, writing this blog makes me wonder if the cricketing world can witness a batsman scoring more than 400 runs (It should be noted that Brian Lara also holds the record of scoring 500 runs in a county innings). We have seen many records getting tumbled such as South Africa chasing 434 in the fifty over match against Australia, Corey Anderson breaking Shahid Afridi's record of the fastest century and Kevin O'Brien scoring the fastest century in World Cup.
Breaking such a record like Lara’s needs some kind of talent which can be found in likes of Virat Kohli, and Michael Clarke etc. However, it needs temperament which many batsmen in the world lack. Test cricket has progressed a lot and teams like to play in a fast pace due to the rising run rate in the format. The condition also affects the outcome of the match.
The opposition also needs to be taken into consideration if a batsman seeks to break such a record. If a team has a tight bowling unit and a good fielding department, then it becomes tough for the batting department to score runs. When discussing the majestic innings of Lara, we should note that the conditions were suitable for batting and he became the wall in front of the British bowlers. The opposing team, nowadays like to adapt their departments to the conditions.
It should be noted that there were no Twenty20s or any other format of the sport when Lara achieved the feat. There were just test matches and One Day Internationals. The introduction of the shorter formats has affected the temperament of the players in the longer formats. That is the reason why the senior players like Jacques Kallis and Sachin Tendulkar were better performers in test matches. Temperament is the key of playing long innings.
Cricket is a funny game. Records will be made and broken. We cannot say that Brian Lara’s record cannot be broken. It can be broken if the players have temperament to play long innings, sadly which they don’t. The opposition and the conditions do count. It still remains to be seen which player breaks the record which is unbroken despite the passing of a decade. Indeed, Brian Lara stands tall despite a decade of evolving cricket.