With West Indian cricket on a decline post their Golden Era, there was one individual who ran against the wind and held the West Indies flag in international cricket high – the Prince of Trinidad – Brian Lara. Born in an era where the team was in one of its most difficult stages, Lara held the team together and showed them the way. We bring to you some of the unknown records of the West Indian maverick.
- Most runs on a losing side in a test – 351
The man with highest individual score in test match as well as highest individual score in a first class match also has the unlucky record of being the player with maximum runs on a losing side in a test match. In the third test of the three-match series against Sri Lanka which West Indies had already lost, Lara tried to put up a fight by scoring 221 runs in the first innings. However, Sri Lanka replied with 627 and it meant West Indies conceded a lead of 237 runs. Lara put up another valiant show with 130 runs but it was not enough to save the test match.
- 3rd Highest Percentage of team runs – 20%
The former West Indies captain ranks third in the list of highest percentage of runs scored by a player for his team behind Sir Don Bradman (23%) and George Headley (21%). The enormous part of the team runs that he scored in the modern era shows two things- he was a lone warrior in most of the cases and how poor the West Indies team was during his time. So, his feat stands out in modern era
- Highest Percentage of team output in a three or more match series – 42%
In the same series that brought Lara the first record, he also achieved the feat of scoring 42% of the total runs scored by his team, maximum in a series of three or more matches in International cricket. As it had been the story throughout his career, Lara tried his best without any support from the other end. He aggregated 688 runs in the innings but the team lost 3-0 against high-flying Lankans in what was a tour to forget.
- Highest proportion of team runs in a match – 53.83%
The historic 3rd Test at Sinhalese Sports Club of the 2001 tour of Sri Lanka brought another remarkable feat for one of the greatest test batsman to have ever played the game. He scored 351 runs in the match which was 53.83% of the total runs scored by Caribbean team, the highest proportion of runs scored by an individual player in a test match ever. Unfortunately, the innings came in a losing cause and West Indies were handed a whitewash in the three-match series.
- Most innings in the Top 15 of the Best 100 Performances in Test Cricket published by Wisden
When Wisden published its list of Top 100 batting performances in the history of the International Cricket, Lara was the only batsman whose name featured thrice in Top 15 of the list. While his 153 not out against Australia at Bridgetown during the 1988-89 season was rated second best innings to have ever been played, his 375 against England at St. John’s in 1993-94 features at tenth in the list. The 213 against Australia at Kingston in 1998-99 occupies the 14th position in this esteemed list.
A player who always fought for his team on and for his teammates off the field, Lara holds some of the most unique records you may not have heard of. We hope this small attempt to highlight the greatness of this batsman would enlighten you about his caliber.