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Last Updated: Monday, 19 April, 2004, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
Lara record 'out of reach'
R Ponting
I've read about Lara's innings... They could have let a Test match slip
Ricky Ponting
Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting believes Brian Lara's Test world record 400 not out will be extremely hard to beat.

Lara used up almost half the overs in the Antigua Test match to secure the game's first quadruple century.

For Australians, it is more important to ensure a positive result.

Ponting said: "It's hard to imagine an Australian player doing it, just because of the way we play our cricket. It's generally not the way we play."

Lara's score for the West Indies against England on 12 April eclipsed Australian Matthew Hayden's former world mark of 380 and took nearly 13 hours to complete.

As captain, Lara batted until after lunch on the third day as the West Indies amassed 751-5 declared.

It left the hosts without enough time to win and the match was drawn.

Ponting said: "I've read about Lara's innings. Their whole first innings might have been geared around one individual performance and they could have let a Test match slip because of it.

Hayden's 380 against Zimbabwe in Perth in October 2003 took just over 10 hours in a match Australia won by an innings and 175 runs early on the fifth day.

Ponting said then captain Steve Waugh's decision to let Hayden keep batting, in an effort to break Lara's previous world record of 375, was the exception to the team rule.

He said: "It was a very rare thing... Matty was given the opportunity to go on and break Brian's record and he did that."

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