Lara yet to confirm batting no.3 against India

Published: Saturday, June 17, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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St Kitts:As it was for all to see in the St Lucia Test, Brian Lara has been the messiah for his side whenever he batted at number three but the West Indies captain has not made up his mind yet on whether to come at one down in the remainder of the four-match Test series against India.

Asked to follow on in the second Test, Lara pushed himself up to number three and after rain washed away fourth day's proceedings, scored a crucial 120-run knock to save the match.

But despite his phenomenal success at that position, Lara wants to discuss the issue with the team management and his deputy Ramnaresh Sarwan, who occupies the slot.

''It's a situation I have to discuss with the coaching staff and also discuss with Sarwan as well. (The) No. 3 position I think is just not the best batsman in the team but he actually sends a message out to the guys who are going out to bat.

''It's a situation where if the pitch is difficult he sends a message back, well listen we've got to tough it out, but if it's easy you go out there and you dictate, and a lot of guys feed off the No. 3 batsman,'' Lara told reporters.

''That's what I would like to see Sarwan do a lot more. He did pretty well in the shorter version of the game. In the Test matches it is the most pivotal position in any team and that position has to be grabbed by the individual and ensure that he sends the right message,'' added the batting great.

It was only the third time in two years that Lara batted one down.

While he slammed 83 on the previous occasion -- against New Zealand in March this year -- Lara had struck 400 not out against England in Antigua in 2004 batting at number three.

''I remember in New Zealand Morton batted pretty well at No. 3.

He got 60-odd in a Test match but the fact of the matter is that I think the team needed someone out there who can show them the way and that's the reason I asked to go to No.3 in New Zealand and in this particular innings.

''I thought it was the most important position of the match. You don't want to be two (wickets) down after the first five or ten overs. Also the fast bowlers were getting the ball to nip back to the right-handers and I thought the left-hander also would be the person to bat,'' Lara added.

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