Sir Viv Richards, considered to be one of the greatest and destructive batsman of all times, has endorsed the aggression of Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team and said there is nothing wrong in the way how Kohli demonstrates his aggression. Richards pointed out that the aggression in the current Indian side is something that he has never seen, reckoning that Indian teams in the 70s, 80s and 90s were never aggressive. Speaking at a promotional event, Richards brushed aside the criticisms that have accompanied Kohli’s aggression during the ongoing Test series against Australia, which is currently level 1-1 with the third Test to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Boxing Day.
“India were not like this years back (70's, 80's and 90's). But it's nice to have someone like Virat. I love it (aggression), why not? They now love to give it back. That's what cricket is all about. I love Virat's captaincy. He competes hard. He expects results. A lot of people have said he's too aggressive... I don't think so. When you have a guy who can lead from the front, it can only rub off on the individuals who are following him. As you can see, the Indian team today is the team to beat in world cricket,” Richards said.
Richards, dubbed ‘The King’ for his swagger and style of play, blasted 8540 runs in 121 Tests at an average of 50.23 and 6721 runs in 187 ODIs an an average of 47 and was an integral part in West Indies’ era of domination from the 80s. The dashing West Indies batsman said the series against Australia was beautifully poised heading into the Melbourne Test.
“It's going to be a great series in Australia. Aussies have fought back well after India won the opening Test in Adelaide. Even though this Indian team is the number one, you should never underestimate Australia. They are fighters. With the series one-all now, it would be a very good one. But I would say India have the perfect chance to win a series in Australia under the aggressive captaincy of Kohli,” Richards said.
Kohli’s aggressive behavior has earned praise and criticism. Justin Langer, the Australian cricket team coach, had termed it ‘brilliant’ while Mitchell Johnson had termed his behavior ‘silly’ following his war of words with Australian skipper Tim Paine.