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Sir Vivian Richards - master or myth?

Lillian Thomson

International Coach
I have never seen, and never expect to see a greater batsman than Viv Richards, yet his Test Match record doesn't show any hint of supreme greatness. It's the record of a great player of course, but nowhere near what his talent should have produced.

Tests=121 Innings=182 Runs=8540 HS=291 Average=50.23 100's=24 60's=45

He should have had another 10 centuries and he was good enough to average in the mid 70's.
He should have broken all records(apart from the Dons 99.94 average) but didn't. There are players with much less ability yet better records. Maybe with so many great players around him he didn't always concentrate like he should, maybe his distain for all bowlers lead to his early dismissal on occasions.
Whatever the reasons, history will remember Viv as a great batsmen, but only those that saw him will remember him as the Greatest.
 

Mr Mxyzptlk

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I think Eddie sums it up really. As a player who could almost hit boundaries at will, he was bound to get himself out several times more than he should have.
 

aussie

Hall of Fame Member
threads like this would make my pops jump, he always maintains that Viv is the best batsman he has even seen and he's been following cricket since the late 1950's, make's eddie look young :p :D
 

archie mac

International Coach
His want to dominate, no matter what the state of the game, certainly affected his final ave. Also I think he went on a few seasons to many, his average was always around the 54 mark, until the last couple of years.
 

Top_Cat

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One reason why Viv's stats do not measure up - boredom.
And age - he was half the player post-30. Boredom might have caused it but physically, he seemed more stiff in his later days than beforehand.
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
Best player Ive seen, and by quite a way.

The way that he tore quick bowlers apart was simply unbelievable.

I played against Len Pascoe quite a few times and, even towards the end of his career, the guy was really, really quick (easily above 150 ks at his peak).

Viv used to make him, and most others, look like a medium pacers. He also did it on wickets (in WI and Aus, in particular) that were much quicker than today and rarely, if ever, wore a helmet.

Also a maginficent fieldsman in any position and largely responsible for the adoption of many techniques, which to him came naturally, that we take as standard today.
 
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social

Hall of Fame Member
Top_Cat said:
And age - he was half the player post-30. Boredom might have caused it but physically, he seemed more stiff in his later days than beforehand.
Also had far from a conventional technique and relied somewhat on an eye like the proverbial dead fish and some of the quickest hands in history.

Like boxers, once they start deteriorating, no matter how minimally, performance is due to suffer.
 

Slats4ever

International Vice-Captain
yeah i remember hearing something on the radio about that... His decision to go on may have effected his reverence.
 

Zinzan

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Lillian Thomson said:
I have never seen, and never expect to see a greater batsman than Viv Richards, yet his Test Match record doesn't show any hint of supreme greatness. It's the record of a great player of course, but nowhere near what his talent should have produced.

Tests=121 Innings=182 Runs=8540 HS=291 Average=50.23 100's=24 60's=45

He should have had another 10 centuries and he was good enough to average in the mid 70's.
He should have broken all records(apart from the Dons 99.94 average) but didn't. There are players with much less ability yet better records. Maybe with so many great players around him he didn't always concentrate like he should, maybe his distain for all bowlers lead to his early dismissal on occasions.
Whatever the reasons, history will remember Viv as a great batsmen, but only those that saw him will remember him as the Greatest.
Agree...he should have done better. I reckon Martin Crowe falls into this category too
 

Anil

International Coach
zinzan12 said:
Agree...he should have done better. I reckon Martin Crowe falls into this category too
as someone who didn't fulfil his potential, yes....as a player, he would be at least a rung or two below viv....
 

archie mac

International Coach
zinzan12 said:
Agree...he should have done better. I reckon Martin Crowe falls into this category too
I have not checked it up so may be wrong. But I think Martin Crowe was chosen for Test cricket way to early, and as a result had a lot of failures early in his career.

Another link, it was Crowe who replaced Richards at Somerset, so there was some bad blood between the two for a long time. (according to Peter Roebuck)
 

Jono

Virat Kohli (c)
My dad reckons he's the best batsman he's ever seen. Plus from what I've read regarding bowler's opinons of him, and how they feared when he would walk out to the crease, he's definitely one of the greatest. Plus, being nominated as one of five cricketers of the century by Wisden suggests he was something else when you look at his company.

He probably did go on too long and didn't make best use of his ability, but that hasn't changed people's opinions of him.
 

grecian

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Genius and stats don't always tally, he was a god amongst players. Destructive, and the effect he had on opposition bowlers won the West Indies many a test match.
 

Zinzan

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Anil said:
as someone who didn't fulfil his potential, yes....as a player, he would be at least a rung or two below viv....
Yeah I suppose what I mean is that Viv was good enough to average 57-60 (instead of 50) then Crowe should have been 50-55 (instead of 45). Both records don't indicate how good they were but I agree Viv was obviously a couple of notches ahead of crowe
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
zinzan12 said:
Yeah I suppose what I mean is that Viv was good enough to average 57-60 (instead of 50) then Crowe should have been 50-55 (instead of 45). Both records don't indicate how good they were but I agree Viv was obviously a couple of notches ahead of crowe
Compared to today's players, Martin Crowe should definitely have averaged 50 -55.

Viv was a class above. He should've averaged 70-75.
 

Deja moo

International Captain
Boredom is the genius's equivalent of the lessers batsmans loss of concentration. Both are cricketing sins, and not excuses to big up a player. It can only be concluded that Viv was only as good as his record hints at him being.
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
Deja moo said:
Boredom is the genius's equivalent of the lessers batsmans loss of concentration. Both are cricketing sins, and not excuses to big up a player. It can only be concluded that Viv was only as good as his record hints at him being.
Shows how good he was that people are declaring him an under-achiever depite an average of 50 +.

Watch replays to show what a genius he was.
 

Deja moo

International Captain
social said:
Shows how good he was that people are declaring him an under-achiever depite an average of 50 +.

Watch replays to show what a genius he was.
What good is genius if you dont make full use of it ? He might have been potentially the second best ever, but he can only be evaluated based on what he actually achieved in the end.
 

Jono

Virat Kohli (c)
Deja moo said:
Boredom is the genius's equivalent of the lessers batsmans loss of concentration. Both are cricketing sins, and not excuses to big up a player. It can only be concluded that Viv was only as good as his record hints at him being.
But that's the point isn't it. A player with a lack of temperament or concentration generally struggles to become really successful. Viv was that damn good, that despite this 'boredom' he was able to be regarded as one of the greatest ever and have an average of 50+.
 

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