IPL 2013 April 26, 2013

Counter sledging through performance - Richards

ESPNcricinfo staff

Viv Richards, the former West Indies captain who is also the Delhi Daredevils ambassador, has said it's important to be confrontational in cricket against sledging and "bullying" tactics, but through performance.

When faced with a situation where a player is "standing at the crease with guys swearing at you, telling you all sorts of things about your parenthood…if you've got good substance, your presence at the crease will be enough," Richards was quoted as saying in Times of India. "You have got to think you are the man, having your chest and chin up and never taking a backward step. One has to try and exhibit what batsmanship is all about. When you score a hundred, it's going to hurt a bowler more than anything else.

"There are times you have to be confrontational. There are some bullies in cricket and nobody should be allowed to bully anyone. For me, if you confront me, I'll finish the confrontation myself."

Richards praised Chris Gayle for his destructive batting, the most recent example being his unbeaten 175 against Pune Warriors, but said even Gayle "plays the bluff" sometimes when he builds an innings gradually. "Gayle realises that being destructive as he is, there is a need to dash all the time. Sometimes he takes his time to play his way in and makes up for it later. I am sure Gayle plays the bluff a few times.

"While he's there in the middle the fielders are sweating all the time, wondering when he is going to just go. I believe it's like stopping at a traffic light - when it gets to green you have the chance to put the foot on the pedal."

Richards said he would always have a player like Virender Sehwag in his side. "They (players like Sehwag) may not get going all the time but when they do they can make up for all the losses."

There was no T20 cricket in Richards' time but had he had a chance, he said, "In this format the best batsmen should play the most overs. I would have liked to open the batting, but would not take the first ball for sure. I like to take a look from the other end."

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