Cricket: Lambert can no longer be ignored
Monday 23 March 1998
When he finally returned home in 1996, the West Indies were no nearer solving their problem at the top of the order. As one candidate after another was tried and found wanting, Lambert continued accumulating consistent scores for Guyana.
As was the case in 1991, when he was summoned from the league after the chosen opener Phil Simmons was so badly injured he had to withdraw, Lambert's belated recall has again come by default. The continuing failure of Sherwin Campbell and Stuart Williams to provide prosperous beginnings finally led the selectors to desperate measures and, aged 36, Lambert was reinstated.
He and the other recycled opener, Philo Wallace, have given new life to the shaky West Indies batting with their swashbuckling approach. Lambert is nothing if not determined. There is a lot clearly wrong with his technique - his ungainly stance at the crease for starters. But he is comfortable with it, acknowledges his limitations and tries little that he knows to be beyond him. He simply waits on the back foot for anything short and wide and hammers it with the muscular power of his shoulders and forearms.
His capacity for converting flying starts into big scores has long since been established in the West Indies. He was far from his best in compiling his maiden Test 100, surviving four chances to the greasy fingered England fielders and finding himself occasionally bogged down. But he never lost focus.
That his partners, first Wallace and then Brian Lara, were in such commanding form eased much of the pressure for him. The West Indies were after quick runs and, had they not been coming at the opposite end Lambert would have had to be more positive in his approach.
Latest in Sport
Diego Costa injury: Chelsea striker a doubt for Everton match after suffering muscle injury
Mario Balotelli posts hilarious Beatles picture on Instagram as he awaits Liverpool debut
Arsenal vs Besiktas player ratings: Alexis Sanchez? Jack Wilshere? Mesut Ozil? Who was the star man at the Emirates Stadium?
Champions League draw: Liverpool meet Real Madrid, but should they fear facing the reigning champions?
William Carvalho to Manchester United: Midfielder on the cards for Louis van Gaal after Arturo Vidal doubts grow
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
£400 - £450 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator (SC Cleared), Cisco Go...
£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40-50K first year: SThree: The SThree group i...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers need...