India have lot of ground to cover: Richards

Viv Richards

West Indies legend Viv Richards on Thursday said India have a "lot of ground to cover" in terms of winning series overseas but hoped they will have the last laugh in the ongoing duel in Australia.

Heaping praise on Indian skipper Virat Kohli's aggressive captaincy, Richards said that sledging sometimes helps the team and players bring the best out of them.

"Earlier, India used to play with four spinners. They now have four fast bowlers. It is good that things have changed. India realised it needs that attitude. But India still got to do well in overseas," Richards told reporters here.

He said such a good team deserves overseas victories.

"Indian infrastructure has improved. IPL has helped in a big way. It has brought money and the Indian team has got substance. But I think India needs to win overseas and still there is a lot of ground to cover," Richards said.

Addressing a press conference organised by Manipal Group's American University of Antigua College of Medicine, the former batsman said India has a better chance to win in Australia in the ongoing tour.

"Kohli is aggressive. I am a big fan of him. I like good batsmen and good aggression. And I like the fact that someone can play Australia like that. I think Virat Kohli is going to give it back to Australia this time. Virat is special and I like that game.

"I also played the same game. Can you imagine Viv and Virat playing in the same team?" Richards said with a smile.

"Virat is good. You are good if you can only reply. If you are not good you can't reply. Virat is good in that sense," Richards added.

He opined that India have produced three great batsmen till date -- Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Kohli.

"In between, we have many great players like Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and others. India is now playing a very attacking game under Kohli. The old India was little timid, but Virat is not like that. He gives it back," Richards said.

The batting great rated hosts England, India, Pakistan and Australia as favourites for the 2019 ICC World Cup.

"England has played well. But always they have fallen short at the last moment. It is a good team always. Pakistan and India are two teams that can defeat anyone. Australia is another great team. So, I think there are 4-5 teams that have the potential to win 2019 World Cup," Richards said.

Asked about the West Indies, he said the team has not shown the best form in recent years and hoped it would reach the top again.

"In limited over game, it all depends on how you play on that particular day. If it is a bad day, even a bad team can defeat you. I hope to see the team where it belonged," Richards said.

He praised former captain Brian Lara and said West Indies was fortunate to have a batsman like him.

When asked if there is any possibility for him to enter politics like Imran Khan, Richards said: "It will be tough for me. Because whenever you do well, you are in the honeymoon period. But once it is gone, back to square one again."

"It (politics) is a ticklish subject. It is always hard to please people as they expect more. In that case, I envy Imran for reaching that position."

 

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India have lot of ground to cover: Richards

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