Cricket: Lara's call for pause and thought: Glenn Moore on the illuminating ideas of a young batsman at the top of the tree West Indian makes his point about county flaws while waiting to continue record quest as inclement conditions hit programme

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A LEAF through the 'opinions on cricket' section of the Cricketer's Who's Who reveals a litany of complaints about over-rates and the strain of having to deliver 110 overs in a day.

Most, admittedly, are made by bowlers (batsmen are more likely to extol the virtues of four-day cricket), which makes Brian Lara a powerful independent witness, and his sympathies are with the prosecution. It is not just at the crease that Lara has settled quickly into county crickt.

Lara, whose attempt at a record sixth successive century was washed out at Lord's yesterday, said: 'Having to bowl more than 110 overs prevents bowlers from thinking about what they are doing, they have to rush through the overs.

'Captains don't have time to think and bowlers no time to rest. In the Red Stripe (the West Indian domestic competition) we have 90 overs. Here the first thing you hear at Warwicks is 'let's get through the overs quickly'. The more time you give players to think the better they will become.

'Bowlers' opening spells are as good as in the Red Stripe but once settled you can go on and get a good score. At Test level you can still get a good ball at 2 pm but here a guy may look good early on but when he comes back he is ordinary. After bowling 15 or 16 overs a bowler might be ambling.

'The best spell I have received so far was from Alan Mullally (of Leicestershire). I twice inside-edged to fine leg in his opening spell but later on he was not quite as good, probably because of the amount of overs he had bowled.'

Lara has showed few signs of exhaustion at the amount of overs he has been receiving but he said: 'I love batting but I have always had problems concentrating.'

Ominously for future England-West Indies Tests, he added: 'People have said I am a risky player and in the past, if the bowlers are on top, I have tried to hit my way out of trouble as in the Jamaica Test. In these five innings (his hundreds) I have learned to wait, to play safe when the ball is moving around, knowing that if you can survive things will get better. I have looked at these five innings and wondered why I have not done it before and it is because I have played some bad shots. I have matured here and learned to be patient.

'Things could not have gone better for me. My reception in the team and at all grounds has been excellent, it is inspiring knowing that people are coming to see me play.'

Weather and toss permitting Lara will make another attempt on his record today. He said: 'I'll be happy to get one or two more hundreds, then I'll have a new record.'

The good news for bowlers is that their advocate believes 'this is a purple patch, there will be times when things are not so special, I have had a couple like that'. The bad news is that his last bad patch - he can recall only two - was on tour here three years ago.

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