Chaitanya's Random Pages

September 5, 2010

Sir Viv Richards stats and clips

Filed under: sport — ckrao @ 11:01 am

One of my favourite cricket players while growing up was Sir Vivian Richards of the West Indies. The first time I remember seeing him live was the 1984 Boxing Day test against Australia, in which he scored a brilliant 208, steering his team from a precarious 5-154 to 479. In an era when 70 was considered a good strike rate in one day internationals, his was 90 with an average close to 50 to boot. He was easily the most intimidating batsman of his time. While every other cricket coaching book dictates that you hit the ball on the ground, I recall his coaching manual had a section on how to go for the big one straight down the ground.

Batting aside I remember him as a fantastic close-in fielder, responsible for countless run outs through direct hits. His off-spinners were also handy especially in one-day internationals, and he even scored a century and took 5 wickets in the same game. Unfortunately I was born too late to see his early career, for which his batting statistics are particularly impressive. In 1976 he scored an astonishing 1710 runs in 11 tests and at the end of March 1981 had this imposing record in tests:

Tests
43
Innings
67
n.o.
4
Runs
3954
HS
291
Average
62.76
100s
13
50s
16

By the end of October 1986 he had this record in one-day internationals:

Matches
110
Innings
100
n.o.
19
Runs
4607
HS
189*
Average
56.87
SR
90.35
100s
8
50s
34

Some of his highlights include:

  • being voted one of the five Cricketers of the Century in 2000
  • never losing a test series as captain (50 tests)
  • scoring the fastest test century (in balls faced: 56)
  • being ranked #1 in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for ODIs from 23 December 1979 to 19 October 1989 (aged 37) (source: here)

He also had a distinguished career with Somerset, was one of the dominant batsmen during the World Series cricket era, and scored over 100 first class centuries.

CricInfo has a “Legends of Cricket” feature of him here.

There are a couple of nice pieces here:
Viv Richards: Antigua’s pride
Viv Richards: bowler killer

More of his stats on Cricinfo Magazine here.

Sir Viv never wore a helmet yet was fearless in playing the hook shot. One famous incident involves being struck in the face by a Rodney Hogg bouncer, and then proceeding to hook the next ball for a six!

As with a few other great batsmen it was considered counter-productive to sledge him while at the crease. During a county match between Glamorgan and Somerset, Glamorgan speedster Thomas had beaten the edge of Richards’ bat a couple of times and said to him: “It’s red, round, and weighs about five ounces, in case you were wondering.” The very next ball was hit by Sir Viv out of the ground into a river! Casually gardening the pitch, Richards said: “Greg, you know what it looks like. Now go and find it.”

Here are a few video clips of him in action. The first is from the 3rd final of the 1988/9 Benson & Hedges World Series Cup, played in Sydney.

I love his 6s at 0:41, 0:58 and 3:45, the last one inside out over cover! The remaining shots are pretty good too!

Secondly here are highlights of his highest score in one day internationals of 189*, scoring 93 in the last wicket stand alone! (The ninth wicket falls just before the 10 minute mark of the clip.)

Finally here are some of his early-career highlights, including his amazing series in England in 1976 and his 138 in the 1979 World Cup final (check out the last-ball 6 at 5:18!). He had such a good eye that he could dispatch balls outside off to the legside with ease.

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