Adrian Barath's century in his debut Test at Brisbane proved that the visiting West Indies team should not unnecessarily fear the Australians, batting great Brian Lara said.
Speaking at the Australian High Commission in Port of Spain, Lara said the youngster promises to be an interesting career and his 104-run knock in the second innings in the first Test proved there was not much to fear about the Australians.
"With Adrian Barath scoring runs, a debutant like him should tell the likes of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan, if he is back, and Dwayne Bravo that there is not much to be feared in the Australia cricket team," Lara said.
The West Indies side, under Chris Gayle, lost the series opener inside three days.
Incidentally, it was Lara who had spotted the special talent in Barath at the Queen's Park Oval when the youngster was just 11 and took him to watch matches in England in 2007.
Dwelling on Barath's century, Lara said, "You could see how compact, how solid (he plays) and you could tell that he is going to have a tremendous future. I congratulate him and his family and West Indies cricket for bringing somebody to the fore at this present time, when our cricket has been spiralling in the wrong direction."
Lara was speaking at an investiture ceremony where Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd bestowed on him the Order of Australia honour.
Lara praised the Australian system of grooming budding talents and said, "We can go to any island in the Caribbean and pick out a Gordon Greenidge or a Viv Richards and we must continue to do that. But if there is a country that shows what it takes to take a youngster from one level to the next it is Australia.
"Their infrastructure for sports is tremendous. The Australians did copy our style of cricket when we were top in the world, so it is only fitting for us to do so today (and copy from them as well)," Lara was quoted as saying by the Trinidad and Tobago Express.
Lara took the occasion to share his emotional attachment with Australia. "I scored my first Test century in Sydney. And I persuaded a young lady named Leasel Rovedas to name our first daughter Sydney. She fought a little bit but I think she understood the importance of that first century," said Lara as his daughter stood by him.