|Event:||India in West Indies 2006|
DateLine: 3rd June 2006
Former West Indian captain Richie Richardson is not overtly excited with West Indies 4-1 win over India in the ODI’s. "I wouldn't straightaway say that we have turned the corner. We have beaten India in one-dayers but only if we do the same in Tests would I feel that we are improving," said Richardson who retired after the 1996 Wills World Cup.
For West Indies to do an encore in the Test series, the hosts would have to come to terms with Anil Kumble who, Richardson feels, India missed greatly in the one-day series. "I don't know the reasons why Kumble wasn't in the one-day squad but he should always be in India's team. I remember him as someone who was very difficult to get away. He may be advancing in years but he still is a formidable opponent”.
Richardson felt the extremely slow wickets in the West Indies now have also been an huge reason for the decline of the once dominant Windies.
"Like other things, this was also an area which we neglected. We never used to have a situation where our batsmen were not good against genuine fast bowling. It's happening now," Richardson regretted. It brought the attention on his own career when he started wearing helmet in his final series against Australia, which Steve Waugh said he did out of fear. "He could say that now since Australia won that series (in 1995). I am not afraid of short pitched bowling even today. I remember I was hit on the head in one of those Tests but the next ball was dispatched out of the ground. If I was afraid, I would have been running for cover." Richardson was also one of those cricketers who sought a 'break' from the game because of excessive cricket.
Richardson does not feel there is too much cricket being played these days, an opinion no doubt shaped by the fact that he now is working for the sponsors, Digicel, for the series. "I don't think there is too much of cricket being played these days. I did seek break in my time and I guess that freedom should be given to senior cricketers of the modern era. If somebody who has played the game for long wants a break to recharge his batteries, he should be given that option," he said.
Richardson retains happy memory of touring and playing against India and two of his favourites are Kapil Dev and Maninder Singh, "the left-arm spinner bowled very craftily he concluded.