There is a Vivian Richards in Virat Kohli. Here's why

Updated: May 19, 2020, 07:18 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Not wanting fancy shots to creep into his Test batting is a Kohli trait that is similar to the West Indian master, feels cricket pundit Ian Chappell

Virat Kohli and Sir Viv Richards. Pics/Getty Images
Virat Kohli and Sir Viv Richards. Pics/Getty Images

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell has brought out a strokeful similarity between Sir Vivian Richards and current India star Virat Kohli.

Chappell on Sunday, during YouTube chat with broadcaster Radhakrishnan Sreenivasan on The RK Show, referred to an interview which Kohli gave a radio station during India's 2018-19 tour of Australia. "One of the things he talked about was why he didn't play the fancy shots, the innovative shots of particularly T20 cricket," said Chappell.

Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell

"He said he didn't want those to creep into his batting in the longer form of the game. The best short-form player in the time I played was Viv Richards, and he just played normal cricket shots. But he placed the ball so well [that] he was able to score at a very fast rate. And Kohli's the same. He plays traditional cricket shots, and he plays them really well," added Chappell, who played one World Cup (1975) and two Test series (1975-76 and 1979-80) involving the West Indies which had Richards in the line-up. Apart from these contests, he was Richards's opponent almost every other day in Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket from 1977 to 1979.

Kohli is not the muscular force that Richards used to be, but he can destroy attacks all the same across all formats. Chappell's description of Richards's exploits in the Australian summer of 1979-80 in which the West Indian scored 386 runs in four innings at 96.50, was profound. "It appeared at times as though he could be the first batsman to be up on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, so fierce were his onslaughts at bowling. Then, at other times, he showed a new-found responsibility and determination to see his side to victory," Chappell wrote in a book encompassing that season, published by Summit Books in 1980.

Chappell also spoke about how Kohli is worthy of praise in terms of positive leadership. "Kohli is one who doesn't fear defeat. He is prepared to lose a game in trying to win it and you have got to be that way as a captain, in my opinion. A draw is an absolute last resort [for Kohli]," remarked Chappell, 76, from his home in Sydney.

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