Beaten England underestimated West Indies according to Sir Viv Richards
Sir Viv Richards believes England will return home stunned and ‘hurt’ after their hammering in the Caribbean.
If there is a man who should know something about sending England teams home bruised, both physically and mentally, then it is the great man himself.
No one enjoyed last week’s series-clinching second Test win inside three days in Antigua more than Richards, who has been holding court around the ground that bears his name.
The former Somerset and Glamorgan batsman has plenty of affection for English cricket, but once he donned the West Indies colours he was out to do as much damage as possible with his wide bat and battery of fast bowlers.
And once again it has been pace that has been the foundation for the Windies’ success as they reclaimed the Wisden Trophy following just seven days of Test cricket.
“You have to look at it in the cold light of day, England have been outgunned,” said Richards. “I don’t think they expected it. I don’t think they expected West Indies to be this competitive.
“They have played the better cricket and have been in great form, and it has really hurt England. The West Indies are bowling at a pace that, whoever you are in world cricket as a batter, you won’t like it. England haven’t coped at all with it.
“There are some real chinks in that England batting order, and they have been exposed by the pace bowlers. They were able to get stuck into the Bairstows and the Roots earlier than they would have liked and that can play havoc in the minds of some individuals.”
England have a dismal record in the Caribbean forged over 51 years, but their performance on this tour has been a new low and has left players and management in a tailspin.
For Richards and the West Indies though, the hope is that this result won’t be a one-off but instead a trend under skipper Jason Holder that will lure lost fans back to the game.
After four years in charge, it is clear that Holder is the man who makes the team tick, much like Clive Lloyd and then Richards did during the heyday that began in the mid 1970s.
“No one wants to support a team that is losing,” added Richards, 66.
“So to see the way the team performed in Barbados and to see the way they have played in Antigua, these are the things that are needed for the Windies to entice folks back again.
“It is tough on a young man when you are leading a team that is not successful. Jason is a quiet achiever who is now up there with the very best all-rounders in the world.”
Holder misses the final Test of the series due to an ICC over-rate ban, but it is England skipper Joe Root who has bigger problems to deal with.
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