By Neto Baptiste
Iconic West Indies batsman, Sir Vivian Richards, believes that the regional men’s team has what it takes to not only be competitive throughout, but to dominate the remaining matches in the ongoing three Test series against England.
Speaking after the team’s four-wicket victory over their hosts on Sunday, the former captain said he was impressed by what he saw from both the bowling and batting teams.
“I believe we’ve got the personnel to deal with all of that because the combination of the team looks pretty good and I think that if you’re going to get conditions like that in England, with the combination of the team — because we have pace and we have Jason who can zip it around a little bit — the batting looks pretty strong enough and we’ve got depth so we are in a good place. They shouldn’t be in any fear, I do not see any real fear in this English team at present and the guys who are presently playing for the West Indies should feel that same way,” the Antiguan said.
England are set to welcome back captain Joe Root for the start of the second Test on Thursday after the player missed the opening match for the birth of his second child. The home team could also include fast bowler Stuart Broad who was left out for the first Test.
Sir Viv, who scored 8,540 runs in 121 Tests at an average of 50.2, however said this should not be allowed to rattle a seemingly confident Windies squad.
“West Indies should have no fear about that as to whether it is Stuart Broad or the captain Joe Root and I know that he [Root] is a very talented and good player for England, but we have to come at them the same way. West Indies should not believe that because they are one-nil up in England against England that England have the divine right to come back. They should nullify that and whenever you get into the next match, you come out hard at them, not looking to draw the series or save the series, but if you can zip them three-nil then why not,” he said.
Asked of the time spent in isolation ahead of the start of the first Test, Sir Viv labelled it a “blessing in disguise.”
“I guess that maybe, it’s a blessing in disguise that you have this whole COVID affair that the guys were assembled for quite a long period of time and they are into one another. The only thing they can concentrate on now is what they have ahead of them in terms of the cricket, because there is not much socialising of such where they could do the things that sometimes, could offset teams in terms of the composition, the camaraderie and that sort of stuff so they are in a good place,” he said. Jermaine Blackwood scored a brilliant 95 as he and Roston Chase, who scored 37, guided the Windies to a four-wicket victory at Southampton.