Sir Vivian Richards talks to mid-day ahead of tomorrow's T20 semi-final involving India and West Indies at Wankhede Stadium
The most feared batting force to come out of the Caribbean has a message for the current West Indies team: "Believe in yourselves."
Sir Vivian Richards
Sir Vivian Richards has followed the ICC Twenty20 well enough from his home in Antigua to believe that Darren Sammy's outfit has a good chance of sending hosts India to the losing corner in tomorrow's semi-final battle at Wankhede Stadium.
"I think it's the best opportunity (to win) regardless of the fact that they are playing India at home. These guys have got to believe that all things can be accomplished," Richards (64) told mid-day from Antigua on Monday night. He dished out a warning for India.
West Indies' bowler Samuel Badree (right) celebrates with captain Darren Sammy after taking the wicket of Afghanistan batsman Usman Ghani at Nagpur on March 27. Pic/AFP
"I know you guys have a fair idea of West Indies cricket through the Indian Premier League and the danger this West Indies team pose. I believe West Indies have a great chance," said Richards, well aware that this tournament could be the last ICC event for a few players in the team.
"With Gayle and all these guys looking to retire later on, this could be a perfect sort of send-off," he said.
'For a guy so small, Virat Kohli is so tall in confidence'
On Sunday, Richards could have watched more of Virat Kohli's epic 82 against Australia had he not been on the golf course. However, he watched the Indian star take 16 runs off Nathan Coulter-Nile in the penultimate over of the game.
Virat Kohli after guiding India to victory over Australia at Mohali on Sunday
As another admirer of Kohli, Richards gushed: "For a guy so small, he looks a very tall individual when it comes to confidence. I love the way he plays so aggressively against Australia. I was Down Under when he scored all those runs against them (in 2014-15). He took a lot of the aggression the Australians bring. The way he stood up to all that was so impressive," said Richards.
Richards has featured in a semi-final of a big tournament involving India at Mumbai. He led the West Indies to victory at the Wankhede Stadium in the 1989 Nehru Cup. In fact, he claimed the man-of-the-match award. It was an interesting choice by adjudicator and former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal because Richards did not bat in that facile eight-wicket win, bowled only overs without a wicket, but took three catches.