Brian Charles Lara is regarded as one of the best cricket players the sport has ever seen. Lara made his international debut in 1990 and played for the West Indies in 131 Tests and 299 One-Day Internationals during his 17-year career. Lara, known for his elegant hitting, amassed 22,358 runs across all forms.

During that time, Lara also doubled his previous personal best of 375 against England in Antigua, breaking the Test world record score twice. Additionally, he holds the record for the most runs scored in a first-class match, with 501 for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994.

Despite Lara’s remarkable skill, he often stood out for his tenacity in facing spinners no matter the circumstances. He had a respectable 82.5 average against spinners in the lengthier format, which is the eighth-highest mark of any batsman with over 30 Test matches played with a strike rate of 65 or more.

Lara attributed it to playing a lot of tennis ball cricket as a child during an interview with telegraph.co.uk. He also spoke openly about his struggles against Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan, two of cricket’s finest spinners.

Lara was reported in the interview as adding, “We played with tennis balls, and you can toss the tennis ball.” You can throw it into the pitch and turn it a mile in softball cricket. And I believed that was a key component of learning how to play spin at a young age. Would you rather have me spin or pace? Every single day, I’ll give you some spin. It simply naturally occurred as something.”

When playing against Warne in Test matches, Lara averaged 71.6 points per game. During the conversation, Lara said that he could read the Australian “pretty easy,” but added that it tended to grow more challenging as the innings went on.

“Many individuals attempt to read from the pitch. I feel like that was a little late. I’m attempting to comprehend what the bowler is saying as a result. I had no trouble reading Warnie. But what made him special was that he never gave up and would constantly generate something to make you confused, added Lara.

Lara’s average vs Muralitharan was even higher, coming in at 124. In six innings during a 2001 visit to Sri Lanka, Lara scored 688 runs.

“What Murali didn’t realize is that I wasn’t reading him for the first 20 minutes of every inning. I continued to sweep and was able to snag a single when off-strike. After a while, when you become acclimated to his ball-handling techniques, he may have lost some of his confidence.

Murali was more difficult to face early in the inning. Warne, though, became more challenging as I improved in the middle because it seemed like he was doing better. Murali knew he could get the rest of the players out so the field would spread and I’d get a single,” he said.

Warne, who has 708 Test victories to his credit, is second in Test wicket-taking after Muralitharan, who has 800.