New Delhi: West Indian batting legend Vivian Richards yesterday expressed surprise at the way Indian batsmen crumbled against the Sri Lankan slow bowlers in the first cricket Test, saying "the best players of spin" were "found wanting" while chasing a small target.
Vivian Richards. Pic/Sameer Markande
India were all out for 112 while chasing a victory target of 176 in the fourth innings at Galle, thereby losing the match by 63 runs with only two batsmen managing double digit scores. "India were to get some 170-odd runs to win and they have some of the best players against spin. But they were found wanting. It was not a big total but it looked hard for them," Richards, considered one of the most destructive batsmen to have played the game, said.
The 63-year-old Richards, who scored 8540 runs in 121 Tests and 6721 runs from 187 ODIs between 1974 and 1991, however refused to compare the captaincy styles of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli but said he liked the current Indian Test captain's aggressive attitude. "I think Dhoni has come a long way by the way he led the
Indian team. Virat has passion for aggression.
There was nothing wrong with that. I like his ways," said the former West Indies captain. "For the way he (Kohli) batted and the way he showed his aggression, it did not come very well for India at the end in the Australia tour. India did not quite respond to the way he batted. It was a pity," he told NDTV. Asked about his opinion on India still refusing to embrace the controversial Decision Review System, Richards simply said, "If it (DRS) was in play in Galle, India would have won the first Test."
On the Dwayne Bravo-led West Indies team's decision to pull out midway from the India tour last year, Richards simply asked for forgiveness from the Indians. "I felt ashamed at the way things had happened. Many a guys who had brought West Indies cricket back from those days felt ashamed. What I would say to India is that please forgive us, we are much better than that (incident)," he said.