| Brian Lara during a practice session in Colombo on Tuesday. (Reuters)
Colombo: Leading West Indies batsman Brian Lara says he is still struggling to shake off the effects of a serious elbow injury suffered in Sri Lanka last year.
“I am not 100 per cent. It had a lot of psychological effect on me,” the left-hander said as his side prepared for the ICC Champions Trophy starting in Colombo Thursday.
“I am unable to try things out (while batting) and I don’t feel comfortable,” he said.
Lara broke and dislocated his elbow during a one-day game against Sri Lanka after a collision with fielder Maravan Atapattu in December and was sidelined for four months.
He had been in the form of his life, having made 178, 221 and 130 in the preceding Tests although Sri Lanka swept the series 3-0.
The Trinidadian, who holds the records for the best scores in Tests (375) and first-class cricket (501), has struggled since.
“This is the worst injury I ever had in my life. I now see why sportsmen go through a lean period for so long after such injuries,” he said. “Hopefully my game is going to get back to its best.”
The West Indies have been in decline since dominating the sport in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The former skipper said: “I have been part of the decline. I was there when we were on top. There is no one person to lay the blame on. We are all working together now.”
Lara said the presence of talented batsmen like Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul would help turn things around, but added: “We are not going to be as invincible as we were but we are going to be a force to reckon with again.”
He pointed out Australia also went through cycles, struggling in the early 1980s after losing key players to retirement and the rival Kerry Packer series.