There is an indelible romance associated with the performances which uphold the excitement a cricket contest promises to provide, and more often than not, authors of such performances are some of the game’s finest exponents.
If one has to truly appreciate the might of a great cricketer, one must look for what is/was written about him in his heydays.
The generation brought up in the 1990s was fortunate to have seen the genius of players like Wasim Akram, Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Adam Gilchrist, Jacques Kallis, Glenn Mcgrath, Anil Kumble and many others unfold through its television sets.
These names would precede all others if anybody from this generation is asked to list down the greatest players of the game.
Similarly, for the generation brought up in the 2000s/10s has seen the likes of Virat Kohli, Kumar Sangakkara, AB De Villiers, and Dale Steyn stamp their class which makes them appear head and shoulders above their peers, and to the short-sighted enthusiast, even above their predecessors.
To many, Vivian Richards remains the godfather of the ODI format. Dean Jones, himself an exceptional ODI player, regarded Viv Richards as the best One Day batsman ever. What’s amazing about Viv’s exploits in ODIs was that it was just an extension of his natural game, which had come to the fore in Tests many times before his ODI career took off.
In Richards’ batting one saw everything that batsmen employ in their game today; Backing away and hitting over covers, moving multiple stumps outside off-stump and hitting towards the leg side etc.
Richards was the first batsman to reach 1000, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 ODI runs, and until Virat Kohli rewrote the ODI record books, Richards was the fastest to these landmarks as well.
Readers on this site would be able to recall former cricketers comparing Virat Kohli’s performances in Australia, with Viv Richards’ exploits there in 1979. The comparison is not without a reason, Richards considers Kohli most alike when it comes to aggression and temperament.
Richards: the trendsetter, Kohli: The Torch Bearer. It is only apt that we look at their respective ODI careers and try to find out who has had a bigger impact on the game. So, here we go!