Ian Chappell picks the best performances on cricket's biggest stage

'No one was more aggressive than Viv Richards'

Ian Chappell on the World Cup performance of a batsman who intimidated even Imran Khan (00:00)


Great World Cup Performances

'No one was more aggressive than Viv Richards'

Viv Richards pulls, England v West Indies, Lord's, World Cup final, 23 June 1979
Viv Richards: "Just his presence was intimidating" © AllSport UK Ltd

In 1979, West Indies were continuing their dominance, and they did it again in the final. Clive Lloyd had made a hundred in the first final, and Viv Richards made one in the second final in 1979.

It was a slightly depleted World Cup. The Australian side, for one, did not have any of its World Series players in the team, and Australia failed to get anywhere near the final. But West Indies, once again, were rampant and they just took all before them and got to the final. And I guess it also signifies the great strength and the dominating factors in West Indies cricket at that stage. Sure, they had the four fast bowlers, but they had some very, very aggressive batsmen, and no one was more aggressive than Viv Richards.

We all hear about what an aggressive and attacking batsman he was, but he was also a very determined player. He was the sort of player who performed well on the big stage. He came out against England, and that would have been even more incentive in the final.

I remember talking to Imran Khan, and he wasn't a man who was easily intimidated, but he once told me that the only batsman who ever intimidated him was Viv Richards. He said, "The way he walked to the crease, as though he owned the cricket ground, and then he would get out there, take guard, bang the top of the grip, and just his presence there was very intimidating."

Well, he was very, very intimidating on this occasion, in the final, and he blasted England to all parts. He got a bit of help - an important partnership with Collis King. Without King's contribution it was probably going to be a difficult chase for England. But with Collis and Viv going well together near the end, they just took the score to a point where you always felt England were going to struggle to get there, which they did,

The final in the 1979 World Cup will always be remembered for a magnificent Viv Richards century.

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