'There may be some fears…': Viv Richards reveals sage advice for India at World Cup

by IANS |

Dubai, Nov 11 (IANS) Two-time World Cup winner Sir Vivian Richards has urged unbeaten India to stay positive and attack at all costs as they attempt to win a third title at this year's event.

India have taken all before them at the 13th edition of the World Cup this year and have won all eight matches they have appeared in to sew up a spot in the semi-finals next week.

Richards - renowned as one of the most flamboyant and attacking players of his time as he helped the West Indies to World Cup success in 1975 and 1979 - wants to see India continue to play to their strengths and avoid any negative thoughts as they strive to stay unbeaten and add to their previous titles in 1983 and 2011.

"India have a mindset that they can go all the way playing like this," Richards said on his column for the ICC.

"That absolutely should be their mindset and would be mine if I was in that dressing room – let’s go out with all guns blazing. That approach has worked so far and if that changes, things may go astray.

"I believe they can go all the way unbeaten, which is really something to strive for. There may be some fears of ‘we have played so well so far, there may be a bad game around the corner in the semi-final’. They have to try and nullify those and banish any negative thoughts."

While Virat Kohli is a long-time favourite of Richards, the West Indies great admits he has also taken a liking to Shubman Gill as the India opener reminds him of how he used to play.

Gill became the No.1 player on the ODI Batter Rankings last week when he surpassed Pakistan captain Babar Azam, while Richards holds the highest rating in the history of ODI cricket when he registered a total of 935 rating points at the end of 1985.

"Shubman Gill is another who bats with style and he is just one among a whole host of players who have all the big shots," Richards noted.

"I am just hoping no one forgets there was a guy without a helmet by the name of Vivian Richards who went out and played like that sometimes! 

"Some of the shots played today are those I like to think I had in my armoury, maybe with the exception of the reverse sweep, but that would have been unwise without the lid on. 

"I’d like to think my scoring rate matches up with the guys playing today, though the game has moved on massively – as a fan, I am delighted with where the game is at currently." 

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