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Anand Subramaniam in Ahmedabad

I’ll never forget Lara’s words: Evin Lewis

Young T&T opener cherishes batting legend's advice and words of praise

Picture this – a 21-year old from Trinidad sets foot in India for the biggest T20 tournament and in his very third game impresses everyone with a ruthless batting assault. And, he is rubbing shoulders with some of the best players in West Indies cricket, watching some of the biggest stars of international cricket play their game and he has a certain Brian Charles Lara in his dugout to give him batting tips.

At the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday, Evin Lewis sped away to a 35-ball 70 to help his side post a mammoth 188 in 20 overs against the Titans. Rain played spoilsport in the Titans run-chase and T&T eventually won the match by six runs by the D/L method. In a short post-match chat with the man of the moment for T&T, Lewis spoke about his knock, his experience in India and about his chat with Brian Lara. 

Excerpts from his interview:

A Man of the Match performance and a win for your team, it has to be a satisfying day for you

Absolutely! We have a good side and we have the belief. We are now closer to the semi-finals and we would look to do well there.

Are you satisfied with a 70? Did you ever have three figures in mind when you crossed your half-century?

Yes, I did it believe I could get a 100. But I just wanted to back myself and get a good start and push on for a bigger score. Unfortunately that did not happen, but I am happy with the knock and happy that we got over the line.

When Lendl Simmons walked back to the pavilion in the second over, how did you plan your counterattack against the Titans bowlers?

Being positive was the key and it really helped me to play that knock. I just wanted to back myself as much as I could and look to score runs freely. It is one of my strengths and I wanted to keep on going hard.

What advice does Brian Lara give you on your game?

It is a huge plus point to have a legend like Lara on our side. He keeps chatting with me and asks me to try and be positive as much as possible and all I do is listen to him and try to emulate that on the field.

What did he tell you after your innings?

He said, ‘Well played,’ and asked me to always be consistent and back myself whenever I got a chance. Those words are golden for me and will remain in my mind.

As a kid, did you always dream of playing in India? How overwhelming is it to play here?

Yes, I had always dreamt of playing here in front of a crowd that loves its cricket so much. Before I came down here, I watched every game and tried to learn from them. It is an outstanding experience to come out in a different country and play cricket. The crowds are pretty similar to that back home and I just wanted to go out there on the pitch and perform.

Is this the perfect learning curve for a youngster like you?

This is the best learning curve for me since there are players of high standards. Every day is a learning curve when you see such players of high stature play the game, I can only learn from them.

Is there any Indian cricketer you admire?

I admire the way Shikhar Dhawan plays his game. He is a very good player.

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