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May 16, 2010
After India's early exit from the ICC World Twenty20, the former West Indies legend Vivian Richards has offered his services as a batting consultant to help the the team deal with their weakness against the short ball. Richards, one of the most destructive hitters in the game, said he would like to pass on tips to teams like India on how to deal with aggressive fast bowling.
For the second time in succession, India bowed out of a World Twenty20 without registering a win in a single Super Eights game, making it six such losses in a row since England last year. India won both their group games but lost to Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka in the second stage, where teams exploited their shortcomings against the rising deliveries.
"I could be a good consultant where batsmanship is concerned and especially where you have such aggressive fast bowling. I can be a little help at some point to teams," Richards told Times Now, the Indian news channel. "I'm available, maybe they (India) will call me sometime to know how to handle such aggression."
Richards pointed to the match against Australia at the Kensington Oval, where India struggled to cope with the pace and aggression of the seam trio of Shaun Tait, Dirk Nannes and Mitchell Johnson. India wilted to 50 for 7 by the 11th over and looked in no position to mount the tall target of 185.
"The Australians did put the wind up India that particular day. India has to get to the grips with that," Richards said. "What India can learn from the past is to get some practice against the real aggressive stuff."
Richards' suggestions are similar to that of former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar, who recommended that the Indian batsmen head to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and learn the basics of facing fast bowling on bouncier pitches. Like Gavaskar, Richards did not blame the IPL for under-preparing India for the World Twenty20, where the quality of cricket was higher.
"India came into the tournament with the most T20 matches, taking in the IPL factor. I don't think it's an excuse in any way. I was in South Africa in 2007 where they won the first T20 tournament and they played magnificently," Richards said. "Sometimes the ball is in your court sometimes it's not. What I think India's got to do at this stage is to see the way the Australians bowled at them and hopefully try and come to grips with the bounce and make the necessary adjustments."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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