Sir Viv laments dropping standards
Sir Vivian Richards, one of the greatest batsmen of all time, is not too impressed with the batsmanship he is seeing in this era’s Test matches.
The Antiguan legend has suggested that a combination of good bowling and impatient batting has resulted in a general dip in standards.
The Ashes series in England has been a prime example, with all four Tests finishing inside four days and the last two inside three. The Aussies have been shot out for paltry scores of 60 and 136 while the Englishmen too have been dismissed for 103.
In 2015 there have seen eight scores below 150 in 23 Tests, a disconcertingly high number given that wickets are not as treacherous as they used to be a decade or so back. While 17 matches this year have produced results, poor batting has played its part in a lot of those results.
Sir Vivian noted: “You can point you finger at both good bowling and poor batting. You have T20 and that also plays a part in some of the shots batsmen play. You see guys playing the same shots in T20s and Tests and are sometimes lucky to get away with it. Guys are playing a lot of limited overs cricket and not making that adjustment when it comes to the longer version and pay a price for that.”
He added: “If you take the West Indies or recently Australia, some matches have been short. Techniques have played a part in some of the shots played, making the same mistakes over and over again.
“At some point, individuals have to play according to the situation. Recently in Birmingham, the ball was swinging in the air, moving around. For some reason we see batsmen not having the same technique to cope.
“Someone like [former England opener] Geoff Boycott, he would have relished those sort of conditions. When you are playing the longer version, there are times when you don’t have to get bat on ball on a regular basis but maybe a good leave outside the off stump can play its part in you surviving and the time that you would like to spend on the crease. But that is not happening,” Sir Viv said.