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Sir Vivian Richards - master or myth?

grecian

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
That was a curious innings: at the end of the 1st day, the West Indies score card (in reply to England's 150 all out) was slightly lop-sided.

Code:
Greenidge c Larkins b Dilley..0 (18)
Haynes c Knott b Willis.......1 (6)
Richards not out.............32 (22)
Bacchus c Botham b Dilley.....0 (1)
Kallicharran not out..........0 (9)
Extras (3w, 2nb)..............5
Total........................38-3

Willis 5-1-32-1, Dilley 4-3-1-2
All of the 22 balls Richards had faced were bowled by Willis; he hit 7 fours and 2 twos. He faced 16 more balls from Willis on Day 2, and hit 5 more fours (and a single) before he was dismissed by Botham for 65 (off 68 balls in total).

The Wisden report said "The brilliant Richards ... continued a remarkable, vendetta-like attack on Willis next morning."

Willis ended up with figures of 14-1-99-1, Lloyd also giving him plenty of stick later on - not great in a total of 260 all out.
Wow hadn't seen that before, and considering all the other bats were pretty good themselves, Bacchus excepted perhaps, that's 1 run from 34 deliveries from everyone else off the bat and 32 from 22 from King Viv, a man amongst men.
 
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Flem274*

123/5
what a weak **** pattersons county skipper was taking him off after 2 overs. stack the legside field, bowl him again and if viv doesn't quite get just one shot he's gone.
Utter bollox, blimey that 90% is ridiculous if you guys want to downgrade Viv on his fanboys, fair enough, but just try to realise these type of comments show you are looking for excuses, not a coherent argument, like rain on your wedding day or summat.
he literally did not do that.
 

grecian

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
what a weak **** pattersons county skipper was taking him off after 2 overs. stack the legside field, bowl him again and if viv doesn't quite get just one shot he's gone.

he literally did not do that.
90% of fans of Viv's is as ridiculous an overstatement as saying Viv would have averaged 70, it's all nonsense hyperbole. like a black fly in your chardonnay...
 

grecian

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
I just looked at the Master Blasters wiki, and noticed Barry Richards Cited him as the best he'd ever seen, I guess @fredfertang will say because he never saw himself bat.
 
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pardus

School Boy/Girl Captain
That sort of average at that strike rate sure is crazy and he basically singlehandedly saved WI from a rampaging Imran in the early 80s.
Imran wasn't alone in that kind of hyperbole about Viv. Dennis Lillee & Michael Holding were just as effusive as Imran in their praise of Viv. In his last book, while rating Viv as the best batsman he bowled to, Lillee writes - “For sheer ability to rip an attack apart, animal brutality, and having no fear in taking you on, I have to put Viv Richards on top of the list [of the best batsmen bowled to]. I just loved bowling against the man. I enjoyed it because it was such a challenge and I regarded him as one of the supreme players if not the supreme player. Viv was like a heavyweight fighter, whatever came his way. he would take it on, fighting fire with fire.
Viv fans are almost as obnoxious as Tendulkar fanbois. I find it hard to believe he was a level above Tendulkar, Lara and Smith as it's made out. I'm not even saying he wasn't a top-tier ATG.
True. A lot of us lapse into hyperbole when reminiscing Viv's batting. In Viv's case though, several renowned cricketers of his own era (Botham, Lillee, Imran, Holding, Andy Roberts, Barry Richards, Dessie Haynes, Ravi Shastri & several more), as well as of the next era (Lara, Tendulkar, Inzamam, Aravinda De Silva, Mohammed Azharuddin etc.) are just as guilty (of lapsing into hyperbole), as are biggest of Viv's armchair fanboys. This probably helps in perpetuating the myth.
Maybe if there was a Gilchrist or a Sehwag in that era (with the same success that they had in their careers in 2000s), then probably Viv would have been worshiped less.
what a weak **** pattersons county skipper was taking him off after 2 overs. stack the legside field, bowl him again and if viv doesn't quite get just one shot he's gone.
Easy to say that now. If you were there, you probably would have done the same thing as well. What was particularly discouraging for Lancashire was Viv didn't look hurried or impulsive while playing his shots off Patterson, or while letting Patterson's deliveries whizz past him. It wasn't like Viv was wildly flailing away at everything like a maniac, he looked to be in reasonable control.
IIRC former English batsman Neil Fairbrother, who was playing for Lancs in that match, recalled that particular innings of Viv reasoning why he still considered Viv above Lara (it was in mid-2000s, the question was put to Fairbrother after Lara broke some significant batting landmark). Fairbrother said something like "Patto was bowling at the speed of sound, but Viv just stood there and smashed him. It was unbelievable to see". As usual hyperbole about Viv yet again 😂:D
BTW, I don't agree with Fairbrother, I definitely put Lara above Viv. But because I saw Viv bat live, I can understand where people like Fairbrother etc. are coming from.
 

Red

The artist formerly known as Monk
Imran wasn't alone in that kind of hyperbole about Viv. Dennis Lillee & Michael Holding were just as effusive as Imran in their praise of Viv. In his last book, while rating Viv as the best batsman he bowled to, Lillee writes - “For sheer ability to rip an attack apart, animal brutality, and having no fear in taking you on, I have to put Viv Richards on top of the list [of the best batsmen bowled to]. I just loved bowling against the man. I enjoyed it because it was such a challenge and I regarded him as one of the supreme players if not the supreme player. Viv was like a heavyweight fighter, whatever came his way. he would take it on, fighting fire with fire.

True. A lot of us lapse into hyperbole when reminiscing Viv's batting. In Viv's case though, several renowned cricketers of his own era (Botham, Lillee, Imran, Holding, Andy Roberts, Barry Richards, Dessie Haynes, Ravi Shastri & several more), as well as of the next era (Lara, Tendulkar, Inzamam, Aravinda De Silva, Mohammed Azharuddin etc.) are just as guilty (of lapsing into hyperbole), as are biggest of Viv's armchair fanboys. This probably helps in perpetuating the myth.
Maybe if there was a Gilchrist or a Sehwag in that era (with the same success that they had in their careers in 2000s), then probably Viv would have been worshiped less.

Easy to say that now. If you were there, you probably would have done the same thing as well. What was particularly discouraging for Lancashire was Viv didn't look hurried or impulsive while playing his shots off Patterson, or while letting Patterson's deliveries whizz past him. It wasn't like Viv was wildly flailing away at everything like a maniac, he looked to be in reasonable control.
IIRC former English batsman Neil Fairbrother, who was playing for Lancs in that match, recalled that particular innings of Viv reasoning why he still considered Viv above Lara (it was in mid-2000s, the question was put to Fairbrother after Lara broke some significant batting landmark). Fairbrother said something like "Patto was bowling at the speed of sound, but Viv just stood there and smashed him. It was unbelievable to see". As usual hyperbole about Viv yet again 😂:D
BTW, I don't agree with Fairbrother, I definitely put Lara above Viv. But because I saw Viv bat live, I can understand where people like Fairbrother etc. are coming from.
this is one of the most drivel posts I’ve read

So you deduce that everyone who played with or against or watched Viv can’t be right, is guilty of hyperbole and feeding a myth? How dumb.

did it occur to you that maybe Viv was actually really ****ing good?
 

pardus

School Boy/Girl Captain
this is one of the most drivel posts I’ve read

So you deduce that everyone who played with or against or watched Viv can’t be right, is guilty of hyperbole and feeding a myth? How dumb.

did it occur to you that maybe Viv was actually really ****ing good?
I wasn't suggesting that at all. Believe me, to me, Viv was actually really that ****ing good.
To me, he was a destructive batsman of the highest class against any attack, on any pitch, in any format.
I guess I used hyperbole too liberally in my post.
Many posters here seem young, & probably have not watched Viv bat live.
I was just trying to give them a perspective of those who saw him bat live.
 

Migara

Cricketer Of The Year
I guess people say that about Viv because whatever individual batting records Viv has/had were much more of a side-effect rather than a single-minded pursuit of those records. He was ridiculously complacent for the last 6-7 years of his career (mostly due to how strong his team was).

Imran - in his 1993 article on Viv - writes - "I admired him because he loved challenges. The bigger the occasion, the more he loved it. The more demanding the occasion, the harder he tried. And often, when there were no challenges, he would entertain the crowd and get out rather than play to improve his average. This is why, for me, statistics are meaningless. They can never reflect the true genius of Viv Richards. Had he wanted, he could easily have scored twice as many Test runs as he did. There were times when his 60s and 70s were far more useful to his team than big 100s scored by others. In the 1980 match against England at Old Trafford, he scored a 60 so violent that it shattered the confidence of England's main strike bowler, Bob Willis."

Not just Imran, Sunil Gavaskar & Viv's team-mate Holding had the same opinion on Viv (& wrote similarly about Viv in their books/articles). In the 90s, Gavaskar mentioned many times how perplexed he was regarding Viv's complacency.

While interviewing Viv for a sports magazine in the late 80s or early 90s, Gavaskar once asked Viv - why he didn't go after Gavaskar's then record of 10,000+ runs, when he could easily have (relatively speaking)? Viv nonchalantly answered - "Nah. That's not me, man". That pretty much sums up Viv's attitude. It's a very West Indian thing.

Lara actually went on a similar route of apathy from late 1996 onward before resurrecting again from 2002. Although I have to add, it was thoroughly misplaced in Lara's case.

Viv's greatness was not how good his stats were, but how bad his stats weren't, given his strike rate & his risky attitude of locking horns with the opposition's best bowlers, and his later year complacency. He batted very aggressively, often took mindless risks, and yet had an average comparable to most other batsmen except Bradman. There were other batsmen in Viv's era, who too batted aggressively or riskily, but their figures suffered.

Does that mean Viv would have averaged 70+ if he single-minded pursued his Test average? Not necessarily. I think he definitely would have ended with a significantly better average than his current Test average. How much better is impossible to say.
Issue is we can say the exact same about Virender Shewag, who incidentally averages very similar to Viv, probably a SR 10 - 15% higher. But Shewag is termed as rash, complacent and throwing it away instead of "bored".
 

Coronis

International Regular
Issue is we can say the exact same about Virender Shewag, who incidentally averages very similar to Viv, probably a SR 10 - 15% higher. But Shewag is termed as rash, complacent and throwing it away instead of "bored".
Ooh yes people will enjoy this comparison.
 

steve132

U19 12th Man
Issue is we can say the exact same about Virender Shewag, who incidentally averages very similar to Viv, probably a SR 10 - 15% higher. But Shewag is termed as rash, complacent and throwing it away instead of "bored".
No, we can't. How many international cricketers have called Sehwag the best batsman they have ever seen?
 

Burgey

Request Your Custom Title Now!
Issue is we can say the exact same about Virender Shewag, who incidentally averages very similar to Viv, probably a SR 10 - 15% higher. But Shewag is termed as rash, complacent and throwing it away instead of "bored".
You think Sehwag was complacent about his team being so good it could beat everyone, everywhere when it literally didn't and couldn't?

This is up there with your "Murali was a great fielder" take.
 

Migara

Cricketer Of The Year
No, we can't. How many international cricketers have called Sehwag the best batsman they have ever seen?
Almost all cricketers rate him with Sidhu as the best ever player of spin to walk on the planet earth. And Yes, it IS a big thing.
 

Migara

Cricketer Of The Year
You think Sehwag was complacent about his team being so good it could beat everyone, everywhere when it literally didn't and couldn't?

This is up there with your "Murali was a great fielder" take.
Shewag knew that his team would wallop anyone at home. Still he got "bored" and got out. :naughty:

And yes, Murali was a great fieldsmen. Easily the best among elite spinners.
 

Chrish

State 12th Man
Sehwag IS the best player of spin I have seen by a long shot. Which other batsman would try to hit every other ball for a boundary against spin and still look in complete control?
 

nightprowler10

Global Moderator
Sehwag IS the best player of spin I have seen by a long shot. Which other batsman would try to hit every other ball for a boundary against spin and still look in complete control?
KP?

I was thinking more along the lines of how he took Murali on, don't recall how well he did against Warne. Lara is another one.
 

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