<div class="img-caption-wrap "> <img alt="Brian Lara" src="https://st2.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/cricket/image_20130621140627.jpg" title="Brian Lara" /> <p class="imgcaptionnew" style="width:618px;"> Brian Lara said he got nervous before going into bat but used to work hard at the nets to be prepared for any situation that might arise © Getty Images</p> </div> <strong>Mumbai: Jun 21, 2013</strong><br /> <br /> Among all the Indian captains that he has played against, <a href="/tags/Sourav-Ganguly/post" target="_blank">Sourav Ganguly</a> is the "favourite" of West Indian batting legend and former skipper <a href="/tags/Brian-Lara/post" target="_blank">Brian Lara</a> as he feels his leadership against arch-rivals Australia was "astonishing".<br /> <br /> "Sourav is my favourite. His leadership against Australia in Australia was astonishing. I have great respect for him," Lara said at a Dell event on leadership on Thursday.<br /> <br /> He also praised Kapil Dev and "good friend" <a href="/tags/Sachin-Tendulkar/post" target="_blank">Sachin Tendulkar</a> for their leadership qualities.<br /> <br /> "In 1983 West Indies were dominating and I thought it would be cake walk for them in the final. So I went out to play only to come and know that India won, which was a surprise and <a href="/tags/Kapil-Dev/post" target="_blank">Kapil Dev</a> as a leader had a lot of role to play," he said.<br /> <br /> "Then there is my friend Sachin Tendulkar, what he has done for cricket, it can't be repeated. His contribution to Indian cricket and world cricket is immeasurable," he added.<br /> <br /> On Indian skipper <a href="/tags/MS-Dhoni/post" target="_blank">Mahendra Singh Dhoni'</a>s captaincy, Lara said, "I spoke to <a href="/tags/Dwayne-Bravo/post" target="_blank">Dwayne Bravo</a> about Dhoni, how he was as a leader while they played together for Chennai Super Kings. He told me one of his key strengths is that he is a great listener. Bravo told me how he sets goals but always looks for ideas and commitment from his players."<br /> <br /> Lara took a stroll down memory lane as he recalled his his initial days and how he used a coconut branch as his first bat.<br /> <br /> "My first bat was shaped out of a coconut branch by my brother. And from that day, all I wanted to do was to be a West Indian cricketer. I would play cricket by myself in the yard and the team would be [Gordon] Greenidge, [Desmond] Haynes, [Vivian] Richards, Lara. From a very early age, I saw myself as a West Indies cricketer and nothing else," Lara said.<br /> <br /> Lara also thanked his father for encouraging him and coming along to all his games.<br /> <br /> "I must also praise my father. He was tremendous. My dad was there at every single match I played for school, under-14, under-16 right upto when I got into the West Indies team.<br /> <br /> Unfortunately my dad passed away the very moment I made it into the West Indies team so he actually never saw me play [international cricket]. But he was definitely the major influence in my career," he said.<br /> <br /> The West Indies batting great also said his teammates were his biggest motivators and dismissed his critics' claims that he played for himself.<br /> <br /> "A lot of media and people said a lot of success was individual. How wrong could that be. My biggest motivation in life has been my team mates. Playing within the team is what motivated me.<br /> <br /> "My performances might have led to individual praise but for me playing within the team was the best thing that ever happened to me. I believe a team is a sum of individuals and each individual is dependent on each other," he said.<br /> <br /> "The <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/cricket-articles/Brian-Lara-becomes-first-man-in-history-to-reclaim-record-for-Test-highest-remains-unbeaten-on-400/25100" target="_blank">400 I scored was at a time</a> when England was leading 3-0 in the series in West Indies, with one Test match to go.<br /> <br /> "Drawing that Test match was more important than anything else. We got to 750. Some people said we batted too long," he added.<br /> <br /> The Trinidadian said he would gladly give his records away to be part of the successful West Indies team who dominated the sport in 70s and 80s.<br /> <br /> "I believe most records are destiny. In terms <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/cricket-articles/Brian-Lara-moves-past-Garry-Sobers-to-become-the-highest-scorer-in-Test-history/25350" target="_blank">of 375</a> and 400, in terms of when they were scored and the way they were scored, I believe it was because of destiny. I would give any record away for success. If I played in a successful West Indies team, say for instance in the 70s and 80s, when we won for 15 straight years, I would give away any record for that," Lara said.<br /> <br /> The 44-year old said he relished challenges and preferred to come onto bat when the chips were down.<br /> <br /> "I love challenges. When the score was 300 for 2, I didn't like to bat. I liked to bat at 20 for 3. When the opposition tail is up and I am going with my back against the wall. I relished those occasions. I believe when you show true character under adverse situation, is when you become a true man," he said.<br /> <br /> Lara said he got nervous before going into bat but used to work hard at the nets to be prepared for any situation that might arise.<br /> <br /> "Like most sportsmen, I am very nervous before I go on to bat. I think that is something shared by a lot of the top sportsmen around the world. If someone is not nervous, I am not sure what sport they are involved in. Pre-game is where I do a lot of my hard work," he said.<br /> <br /> "I worked as hard as possible on my game in the nets. I trained. Michael Jordon trained so hard that when he got to the game, he was on cruise control. And I felt the same way when I put myself through tougher things and got into the middle," he added.<br /> <br /> The former West Indies captain said he was most critical of himself when he was doing well and not when he was going through a lean patch.<br /> <br /> "I am most critical of myself, when I am doing well. When I score a hundred against Glenn McGrath and <a href="/tags/Shane-Warne/post" target="_blank">Shane Warne</a>, I know for a fact they will go and check on their computers to see how I was batting."<br /> <br /> "They will pick up a few things where I was lucky enough not to get out, and they will come back the next day, looking to counter that. I do what they do and keep a step ahead of them. When I am not scoring many runs, I tend to be less critical because you are going to go through bad patches," Lara added.<br /> <br /> Lara said former West Indies skipper <a href="/tags/Courtney-Walsh/post" target="_blank">Courtney Walsh</a> was the true leader and people should try to emulate him.<br /> <br /> "Courtney Walsh wanted the team to be successful. He knew exactly what he had to do even when he was not the captain. That for me are the qualities of a true leader.<br /> <br /> "Someone who is not necessarily a captain wearing the arm band but someone who knows their responsibility at all different levels," he said.<br /> <br /> "Walsh is someone that I will have full praise for and someone whom I consider to be a true leader. His stats don't show that as a captain, tactically he wasn't the best but in terms of character trait as a leader he is someone I would love to see a lot of people emulate," he added.