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Kapil Dev reveals why he feels sorry for Viv Richards

India Today logo India Today 03-08-2016
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Kapil Dev and Sir Vivian Richards - two of the greatest foes on the field and good friends off it, their playing careers punctuated with several India-West Indies epics. But this is a low none could have ever anticipated.

"The Viv I know was probably the greatest batsman and had that swagger to intimidate any rival," Kapil told India Today, adding, "But the Viv I am watching on TV these days, and listening to his commentary, I can sense how bad he feels about the way West Indies are playing. Viv, I feel for you my friend, you played all your life with the pride these players can't associate themselves with perhaps."

For one who holds the record for maximum wickets (89) in India-West Indies cricket history, Kapil said the world 'clean sweep' had a different connotation in his playing days.

"In the 80s and 90s it were the West Indies who would inflict a clean sweep on others. When you played there, they had four-five fast bowlers baying for your blood with the crowd chanting. 'kill him, kill him Maan'. And now we are talking about an Indian clean sweep over the West Indies, and in the West Indies. Who could have thought so 20-25 years ago," Kapil said.

Kapil, one of India's finest all-rounders who led the team to its maiden World Cup triumph in 1983, credits the Indian formula of playing five specialist bowlers for the new-found aggression of the Indians.

"In this series you can say India have done well by playing five specialist bowlers but even now I feel a genuine all-rounder is what Virat Kohli would want. They should be ready for better and bigger tests against good teams," he said.

The former captain was most impressed with Indian batting, especially the way KL Rahul used the opportunity, "You can't keep such talent on the bench once Murali Vijay comes back from injury. Rahul must play in the XI regardless of how Virat finds a place for him."

He also had a word of caution for Indian fast bowlers: "The three - Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami have looked very good but I hope they keep working on their fitness," Kapil opined.

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