The issue of bouncers and batsmen safety is once again the talking point in cricket after Steve Smith was hit by a 93 mph bouncer from Jofra Archer on the side of the neck during the Ashes Test between England and Australia at Lord's. The issue of neck guards has been taken up with many former cricketers and medical experts believing that the neck guard must be made mandatory. However, Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket team skipper has made his point on being hit by a bouncer and it makes for interesting reading.
"I always feel it's better to get hit early on and know the feeling rather than always feeling you might get hit. I prefer getting early on and hard, it motivates me to not allow that to happen again. Just that pain to go through your body and be like 'Ok enough it's not happening again'," Kohli told the official BCCI website.
Kohli was interviewing Sir Vivian Richards, considered one of the greatest batsman and he asked Sir Viv about his view of getting hit by a bouncer. However, the West Indies dasher had a different take on the issue altogether.
"It's all part of the game. It depends on how well you come back from these knocks. Before we had little guards around your ribs, you would take a hit and that's where you would feel and take a count but that's all part and parcel of the sport," Sir Viv said.
Sir Viv played in the era which had some magnificent fast bowlers from Australia, England, Pakistan and New Zealand but he never wore a helmet. When Kohli asked as to why Sir Viv never wore a helmet, the West Indies legend responded, "The helmet I tried felt a little uncomfortable. I felt the maroon cap given to me, I was so proud to have that. My mindset was that I'm good enough to be here, if I get hurt it's god's will, I will survive. I believed that I'm the man. It may sound arrogant but I always felt that I was involved in the game that I knew. I backed myself every time. You even back yourself to get hurt, to take the knocks," Kohli said.