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Think You Know Yourself?

Interrogating Viv

Who dares question the Master Blaster? We, that's who

Produced by Nikhil Shetty |

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  • POSTED BY leebra8807547 on | July 18, 2017, 23:23 GMT

    My first test match at Kensington Oval Barbados Sir Viv scored 182 not out in West Indies seconds innings vs England in 1980. The match famously remembered for Michael Holding removing Boycott. Clive Lloyd also scored a hundred in the first innings. I remember Viv driving a ball from Robin Jackman on the up with such power that it knocked the bowler of his feet and still bisected long on and long off. There was also a pull off the front foot of Graham Dilley over backward Square on top the old Eric Inniss stand for six. On a lightning fast green top pitch. I was an innings that deserved a double hundred but the Skipper declared so we bowl out England. US POOR WINDIES FANS WHO HAVE SEEN THE LEGENEDS.

  • POSTED BY Harsh on | July 12, 2017, 14:46 GMT

    Viv took intensity of duel with an opponent to its highest zenith in sport reminiscent of Muhammad Ali Against great opponents like Dennis Lille Or Imran Khan he resembled a boxer in a ring .No cricketer could exude the energy as Viv did whose very presence demoralised the opposition.There were more attractive,technically accomplished and statistically better batsmen but none who could command such a presence as Viv.At his best he was reminiscent of a racing car in complete control.Overall amongst the pantheon of great cricketers arguably only behind Bradaman and Sobers.

  • POSTED BY Pramod on | July 8, 2017, 15:51 GMT

    Yes, I still remember the shot he played in a one day match against Australia. I am not sure if it was Mr. Lillie or Pascoe bowled one out side the off stump which Mr. Richards played and missed and got some words from the bowler. The next ball was smacked so hard that crashed into the cover boundary even before the cover fielder Kim Hughes could stand erect form his crouching stance. Just amazing and I will cherish and remember that shot forever.

  • POSTED BY Hamza Salman on | July 7, 2017, 19:22 GMT

    Viv never batted against teams like Bangladesh or Zimbabwe, and played in an era when rules were not tilted towards the batsmen. The sheer respect he gets from contemporaries and even present-day greats validates what an extraordinary phenomenon he was. Known for being the pioneer of unconventional power hitting, he also manifested supreme aesthetic shotmaking. One of his most memorable displays was in 1979 WC Final when he blasted 138*. When you have modern-day legends full of awe whenever Richards is mentioned, it tells how very special and unique he was. It is said that he didn't get the chance to showcase his prowess against the mighty WI fast bowling battery but those very bowlers felt the brunt of his batting in Caribbean circuit. His sauntering and swagger were trademark stuff. He was one batsman who brought sheer joy even when he was hammering your own team.

  • POSTED BY Harsh on | July 7, 2017, 17:34 GMT

    What is significant that not only bowlers of his era like Lillee ,Botham and Imran rated Viv the greatest batsmen they ever bowled to but also bowlers and players of later years like Wasim Akram,Saed Anwar and Inzamam rated Viv the best they ever saw.Viv was a greater match winner than any batting great .When batting in full flow he exuded the aura of an invincible army conquering territory after territory .The greatest bowlers could on Viv's day look like cattle walking to a slaughterhouse .If he wished he could have broken all the batting records..Overall in test cricket may have by the most slender of margins fallen out in comparison with Tendulkar and Lara because of inconsistency towards the end of his career and not facing as many crisis situations.Arguably playing for a champion team did not completely test Viv who never had to face his side's 4 Quickies'.Nevethless I cannot visualise a batsmen who was more the scourge of bowlers as Viv was.

  • POSTED BY Harsh on | July 7, 2017, 16:56 GMT

    No batsmen defined batting of the modern era as Viv Richards who strode on the cricket field in the manner of an emperor.He took domination of bowling to regions of divinity.Viv could change the complexion of game more than any batsmen ever often creating the impact of a military bomber attacking an airbase.No batsmen ever in the history of the game treated great pace bowling with sush disdain or was as intimidating,In his peak era from 1976-81 Viv was only 2nd to Bradman amassing a record aggregate for a calendar year in 1976 and scoring 862 runs in WSCcricket supertests.He blended the power of a boxer with the genius of a musical composer.Equally at home on bouncy Australian tracks,Seaming English tops and turning subcontinent pitches..

  • POSTED BY Hamza Salman on | July 7, 2017, 14:10 GMT

    Viv's reputation preceded him. In 1991, with the great man nearing retirement, he was still held in awe due to his aesthetic strokeplay, fearless style and charisma. In his final Test innings, he took on the very fast Devon Malcolm who had a particularly surprising quick bouncer, knocking him all over the place. A season earlier, during a break in a County match v Hampshire, I spoke to the new kid on the block Waqar Younis who was bowling like the wind and undoubtedly repeatedly breaking 100 mph barrier (alas, speed guns came only a few years later, and in 1996 post-injury Waqar clocked 95.8 mph in the Oval Test). Waqar of 1991 is the closest to unplayable an ultra fast bowler can get. I asked him how does one set the field to Viv. He reflected a bit, smiled and asserted in Punjabi that "Easy. It's very easy to set a field to Richards.....just place the fielders wherever you want because really it does not matter....they only will have to watch the ball sailing over their heads!"

  • POSTED BY laksvi5642713 on | July 7, 2017, 13:42 GMT

    Once whilst captaining the WI team against a county XI in a warmup match in eng, Viv asked the oppo skipper who they were playing, the oppo skipper struggled with whom they had and whom they left out, after a few 'oh we picked him...no no no...he is not playng, oh yes he is..sorry'...viv just said 'You can play anybody, maan'.....(we gonna win anyways...:)....that, in that special antiguan accent....ah awesome...the aura of the guy....just watching him come out to bat, hands pumping, that swagger, the gum chewing, viv taking in the fielding positions - almost like it didnt matter or like he owned half the real estate on which the game was played....what a character....legend....

  • POSTED BY Leon on | July 7, 2017, 0:06 GMT

    Viv v Lillee - was always a special contest within a contest. And both players lifted a level beyond their usual brilliance to perform at an unbelievable level. Lillee gained yards and Viv was doubly determined to dominate. And my childhood memory of Viv is at the fence at the MCG when the practice wickets were in front of the members chatting to the kids before the test in 1976. Then 50 and 98 both at almost a run a ball, and out to Lillee both times. So my two heros both won.

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | July 6, 2017, 23:36 GMT

    Can be quite humorous. Loves to laugh

  • POSTED BY Karthik Bollam on | July 6, 2017, 21:46 GMT

    Viv Richards...I have not been fortunate enough to see him bat but he is by far the greatest cricketer ever. Wish he was born in the current gen. just so i could i could watch him bat live. Yes, i am selfish!!!

  • POSTED BY Syed on | July 6, 2017, 20:03 GMT

    @ HamzaSalman , In that 1981 Multan innings he actually had developed injury (cramps or something) and was limping. Imran targeted that thigh and hit him few times in an effort to dislodge him.. but the tougher it gets the more savage Viv became in his strokes.

  • POSTED BY Syed on | July 6, 2017, 19:56 GMT

    There are so many great players... but only one King

  • POSTED BY Hamza Salman on | July 6, 2017, 19:50 GMT

    @TAMBIDUDE ON - "Indians and Pakis hardly see eye to eye, but when it comes to Viv, they seem to agree." | Same can also be said for the likes of Gavaskar, Imran, Kohli, Tendulkar, Wasim to name a few :) Viv started with two single-digit innings against the Indians, falling both times to Chandrasekhar. In the next match, he came on strong, blasting 192* as Chandrasekhar was not playing. Regardless, a monumental knock as it contained 6 sixes and came off just 321 deliveries. In his first home Series against India, he hammered three big tons in the first three Tests - 142, 130 and 177, neutralizing Chandrasekhar completely. In the next Test, the spinner got him for 64. A Pak off-spinner (later turned an international umpire) Nazir Junior got him 3 times in a 4-match series in 1980. Viv remarked later that the bowler's protruding teeth made it difficult for him to concentrate, as when Nazir delivered the ball, in the final strides as his mouth was agape, it distracted Viv! I believe him!

  • POSTED BY jaswant on | July 6, 2017, 18:24 GMT

    Batsmen of all classification have displayed skills and talents on the international scene. I was fortunate to see a few of the greats in action,but in my book,none will equal the talent of Great Sir Vivian Richards. Richards was different,he had charisma, grace and brute force. It matters not who the customer was,an exquisite drive through the covers for four or a pull over backward square leg for six were only parts of his countless selections. Savaging a hapless gum between those iron jaws proved to be his partner in concentration. Batting without a helmet and challenging the quickies like Lily and Thompson were amazing. He whipped every bowler of his time,the master blaster will mostly be remembered for his batting,but he was also one of the greatest fieldsman of all time. My respects to you Sir Viv.

  • POSTED BY Ravi on | July 6, 2017, 17:38 GMT

    Hamzasalman: Indians and Pakisatanis hardly see eye to eye, but when it comes to VivRichards, they seem to agree.

  • POSTED BY Hamza Salman on | July 6, 2017, 17:03 GMT

    @HITTING_THE_BALL_TWICE ON - Yes, no field restrictions, and no bouncer rules either! But Viv was such a great puller and hooker of the cricket ball, he could even play audacious pulls off genuine fast bowlers on the front foot having stepped out too early with the bowler responding with a short delivery directed at his body! One such instance comes to mind as he played the most outrageous pull to Imran Khan. Imran hardly ever smiled on the cricket field, but at that instance, he looked at Viv, eye to eye, with a massive smile full of admiration. It was quite a spectacle. In Multan 1981 Test, Imran Khan bowling furiously fast had hit Viv multiple times on the pads. With the padding gear not that perfect in those days, it had an effect as Viv started to limp a bit but that did not deter him from blasting a most beautiful century. In the end, he ran out of partners, as Imran had taken 5/62 including much of the top order. But it was Viv's batting that was the main feature of that innings

  • POSTED BY Hamza Salman on | July 6, 2017, 16:55 GMT

    The legend is as interesting as riveting was his strokeplay. His autobiography, "Viv" is so fascinating and well-written that many can read that in just a single day of leisure. It starts with first person account of an Antigua batsman waiting for his turn to bat, eyes shut, listening to Calypso music, face down on the bench getting massage from the team physio, the metal bracelets and other such straps clanking. He opens his eyes as he hears the noise outside reaching a crescendo that indicates his turn to bat has come, and gets the shirt on, ready to bat - walks out, vigorously chewing gum, soaking in the sunshine, and flexing his arms as he struts to the pitch. This is his territory now!

  • POSTED BY Mahmud on | July 6, 2017, 16:37 GMT

    @HAMZASALMAN You forgot the mention the field restriction in ODI. It was introduced only in 1992 (?).

  • POSTED BY M Manohar Rao on | July 6, 2017, 16:27 GMT

    He reminds a bit of Nana Patekar, fearless and straight on the face.

  • POSTED BY Amir on | July 6, 2017, 15:58 GMT

    Still the most intimidating batsman. His posture, his stare, his fearless attitude, was amazing. Batting with no helmet against those fast bowlers was something to see. Outstanding cricketer. One of all time great.