West Indies vs India 2016: Sir Viv Richards feels Virat Kohli's will to succeed separates him from the rest
At a time when only fast bowlers were evoking fear from the opposition, Viv Richards changed all that with his gum-chewing and swagger-filled character. Now commentating in the first Test of the India-West Indies series which incidentally is taking place at a stadium named after himself, the 64-year old has been enjoying Virat Kohli’s batting.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Richards enthused, “Let me put it this way – Kohli has that urge, has the will to succeed. Fire in the belly plus talent make Kohli special. I saw that fire on the 2014-15 Test series in Australia.”
He added, “A lot of batsmen are talented, have the skill which is there for all to see. Yet don't have the fire in their belly, the fierceness to come out on top. But I'm only telling you what I've seen. What has impressed me so much. The will to go out and do it, you need the drive to rise above the rest. Kohli has that quality.“
After winning the toss on a pristine batting surface, Kohli made the most of the opportunity to remain unbeaten on 143 at the end of the opening day. Showing intent from the outset, the aggressive captain decided to go in with five specialist bowlers.
When asked about the touring party from India, Richards heaped praise on the attitude of Kohli’s men. The veteran had made a surprise visit to the visitors’ camp which was revealed by the players themselves on social media.
The legendary batsman affirmed, “You know, the Indian cricketers haven't lost some of the values which aren't there everywhere. Values such as respect. I enjoyed the interaction with your boys. Some things haven't been lost in India.”
Viv’s connection to India did not stop at that. Apparently, the great man drives a Tata Range Rover. When asked about his unique ‘MMNM’ number plate, he quipped, “Well, I could have had my initials, but have the initials of my daughters – Matara , Mali, Nikka and Masaba. They're special for me.”