The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lara will spur on Tendulkar: Wessels

Cape Town: Former South Africa captain Kepler Wessels Monday said Brian Lara’s knock against the hosts will spur Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar to great deeds in the World Cup.

“I think Brian Lara has set a very good example. I am sure it could act as a spur to Sachin Tendulkar,” said Wessels. “Tendulkar would love to do well in South Africa. He’s a highly motivated player.”

Lara cracked a masterly ton against World Cup favourites South Africa at Newlands Sunday and inspired the West Indies to thrillling three-run victory.

“I think Lara set a very good example on the first day. After a long time he played brilliantly. He came in when there were a lot of pressure,” he said.

Tendulkar, the second all-time highest scorer in World Cup, has struggled to notch up big scores in recent times.

Wessels felt the extraordinary innings of Lara has now thrown the challenge to batsmen of other teams who wish to make this World Cup their own.

“Not only Tendulkar, the likes of Inzamam-ul Haq, Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist would need watching,” said Wessels. “They have done well here and they should be motivated to try and do well.”

Wessels also hoped that India captain Sourav Ganguly would shake off his batting blues of recent times. “Ganguly has so much talent and has so much experience there is no reason why he can’t do it again,” he said.

“He has batted well in one-day games in South Africa in the past. I feel for him, if you are a captain and if you are out of form, the whole world is on your shoulders.”

The former South Africa captain said Ganguly now needs to score some runs and lead the side from the front. “There is only one way a captain can lift the side and that is by leading from the front and scoring runs. The rest of the team would then follow him. His biggest job would be to bat very well.”

Wessels said pressure was nothing new for Ganguly but he has hung on and had a successful international career. “He has been in this position before. He always seems to be hanging on. These are tough times for him but he has got the skill, he’s got the ability.”

Wessels said though he was confident of a solid batting display by the Indians, their seam attack could be a weak link. “They have got the batting to do well. Their seam attack might hamper them a little bit.”

But, if the seamers can put early pressure, the two world-class spinners Harbhajan and Kumble could be a force in the middle overs,” said Wessels.

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