Adrian Barath is one of the special emerging talents from the Caribbean and is expected to become one of the top players in World Cricket in the near future. Hailing from the small town of Chaguanas in Trinidad and Tobago, Barath has quickly got into the West Indies team on the Australian Tour of 2009/10 and has struck a superb century on Test Debut at the Gabba, Brisbane.
The 19-year-old Barath failed in the first innings scoring 15 but in the second innings showed his true potential with a strokeful century. The right handed opener smashed 104 from 138 balls with 20 fours in a team total of just 187! The last man to score a century on Test Debut for the West Indies was Dwayne Smith against South Africa in 2003-04. The 19-year-old Barath with his century at the Gabba has overtaken the record of the great George Headley who was the youngest West Indian to score a Test Century at the age of 20.
Short in stature, Adrian Barath first came into limelight to world cricket fans while representing his country in the inaugural Champions League Tournament in India. An injury to Darren Bravo paved the way for Adrian Barath in that tournament that too towards the final stages. Barath grabbed his opportunities with both hands and announced his arrival with 63 from 41 balls which included 4 sixes against South African-based Diamond Eagles at Hyderabad.
Barath is very short when it comes to height but he packs a lot of punch in his shots quite surprisingly. He easily clear the ground with his big shots as shown in the Twenty20 Tournament in India. Along the ground, he plays a lot of free flowing shots with no half measures. One particular shot that is very memorable of him is the lofted square drive or the wristy slash over point. The Century on Test Debut against Australia has proved that this little man has the technique to play the fast bowlers on good pacy and bouncy tracks. He is an all-round batsman who is perfectly suitable to all the three formats of the game.
This new sensation from Trinidad and Tobago has started everything with a bang as far as his cricketing career goes. The rest of the world is still yet to see this lad completely but Brian Lara had spotted the spark in Adrian Barath when he was just a 11-year-old kid! It has been a rapid progress since then as Barath walked into first class cricket at the age of 16 in the Carib Beer Cup 2006/07. In his second first class game, Barath smacked Leeward Islands for 131 which became his maiden first class century. With that century he became the youngest in West Indian first class cricket to score a ton.
Cricket fans worldwide would be keeping an eye on Adrian Barath for sure. Hope he does live to the reputation and grows to become the new superstar in world cricket. The West Indies Selectors should just give him a free run and trust his potential to come good. It will always be a wonderful delight to watch a short batsman take on the tallest of fast bowlers!