Looked up to Lara, says Hetmyer

West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer (right) discusses with coach Stuart Law on the eve of the second ODI against India in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. PTI

West Indian swashbuckler Shimron Hetmyer on Tuesday said he looked up to the great Brian Lara and thanked his country's legends for backing youngsters like him to "keep trying" despite the fact that the islands' plummeting graph in cricket has refused to head north.

The 21-year-old Hetmyer bludgeoned his way to a 78-ball 106 in the first ODI against India in Guwahati, redeeming himself after a disastrous Test series, in which he managed just 50 runs across four innings at 12.50.

"I did look up to Brian Lara when I used to watch cricket, but most of it (shots) comes naturally to me. I am a natural stroke-player and try to play each ball on merit," Hetmyer said during a chat after a training session.

"I have spoken to a few legends in the past, they are quite fun actually, easy going -- Lance Gibbs, Sir Viv Richards and Brian Lara, some of the other stars, too. Knowing that they are backing you makes me feel good," he said.

"They tell me to be 'just be yourself', they give suggestions like play each ball on merit and all. They try to help in every way possible, make it as easy as possible for us and encouraging us to keep pushing," he added.

At the Barsapara Stadium, the Guyanese looked a far cry from his struggles in the Tests, nonchalantly hitting six sixes and as many fours, his knock also adding a dash of the Caribbean flavour of the good old days.

"I had a bad Test series, it was not one of the best ways to start a series in India but from there on I tried to forget about that as much as possible and the senior guys helped. They said 'don't worry and look forward to the next game'." he said.

"I have quite a few experienced guys to lean on, to know how it was before, even the coach (Stuart Law) who has played for Australia. How much of the big change has happened from then to now. How they played their game," he added.

 

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Looked up to Lara, says Hetmyer

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