‘The best batsman against anything and everything’: Michael Holding on the greatest batter of cricket
Former West Indies fast bowler and now a renowned commentator, Michael Holding named the best batsman he has seen. Holding, who had picked up 249 wickets in 60 Tests and 142 wickets in 102 ODIs for West Indies, named Viv Richards as the best batsman in the game of cricket.
Explaining the reasons behind choice, Holding said, Richards never looked intimated while facing the best bowlers of the world.
“He never looked intimidated. Richard Hadlee in New Zealand, Dennis Lillee in Australia, Abdul Qadir in Pakistan, Bishan Bedi in India. Ian Botham in England. He got runs against anybody and everybody,” holding said.
Richards retired with 8540 runs in 121 Test matches at an average of 50.24. In ODIs, he had 6721 runs in 187 matches at an average of 47. The most attractive thing about Richards’ batting was his scoring rate. His strike rate in Tests was 86.07 and in ODIs in went up to 90.2.
“He destroyed a lot of bowlers in the Caribbean. He didn’t have to play against four West Indies bowlers at once but he played against us [domestically] and he got runs against each team.
Narrating an interesting story of how Viv Richards used to operate while batting, Holding said he used to get a visual picture after just watching the first couple of over of the match.
“As he was batting at No 3 for West Indies, I often saw him watch the first couple of overs, get a visual picture, and then go and sleep.
“People would have to wake him up and say ‘Viv, it’s your turn’. Sometimes it was early, sometimes, because you had (Gordon) Greenidge and (Desmond) Haynes, not so early!” Holding added.