Sehwag must learn to plan his innings: Richards

"I would say Sehwag at the top of the order must produce results for it can make the team go places," said the West Indies great.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2006 13:44 IST

West Indian batting legend Vivian Richards wants Virender Sehwag to put more method in his batting and produce the goods for the sake of his team.

"Virender Sehwag must step up the plate and learn to start planning his innings. He has beautiful eyes and in full flow is one of the most destructive batsman anywhere in the world. But his team depends heavily on him and how he performs," said the incomparable Richards.

Richards then chose to comment on different Indian batsmen and how they measured up in his estimation.

"This Indian team has ability. Somebody like VVS Laxman adds extra experience to the side which it probably missed in the one-day series," hesaid.

"Rahul Dravid is one of the best batsman in the game. But I would say Sehwag at the top of the order must produce results for it can make the team go places."

"I am also impressed by Dhoni and I think he is an exciting talent."

Richards, inevitably, commented on how disappointed he was to learn that Sachin Tendulkar wouldn't be coming over to the Caribbean for the forthcoming Test series.

"It's a great loss to people of this region. I personally am a great fan of Tendulkar. It's sad but I wish him speedy recovery.

"I hope that the people of Caribbean would at least see him for one last time when the World Cup is staged here next year."

Richards has no doubt that Tendulkar still has some good years of cricket left in him.

"He is still a very good player. The last few years haven't been good for him but I have little doubt that he would still make an impact for the Indian team.

"The team also needs him since there are a lot of young cricketers."

Asked to compare himself with the present captain Brian Lara, Richards didn't think it was right for him to be drawn into comparison with the mercurial left-hander.

"Everyone is different and that's the beauty of this game. Lara is different from Viv and that perhaps gives the game its flavour."

Richards said that after years of being in the slumps, there were signs that the present West Indian side was beginning to learn the art of winning.

"After the one-day games against India, it is beginning to look that we can have a very competitive side for the 2007 World Cup.

"In the Caribbean, cricket has to compete with a lot of other sports. But India came here as number three team in the world and we were number eight but West Indies were still able to accomplish the win," he said.

"It's the sort of confidence they need to move forward," Richards said.

Richards, who made 8540 runs in his 121-Test career, recalled the days when his father wouldn't let him play cricket for he thought it would take him nowhere.

"My father thought cricket wouldn't take me anywhere. He was a cricketer himself and looked at it from his own experience.

"He wanted better life for his kids and the trappings which good life brought. But I was a very stubborn guy and in the end things worked themselves out."

Richards says that life after his retirement has been as hectic as it was for him when he was playing the game.

"I thought after the retirement, I would be able to put my feet up and relax. But things have only got busier and busier."

First Published: Jun 01, 2006 13:44 IST