Vivian Richards, who joined Delhi Daredevils in an ambassadorial role on April 20 this year, has once again backed Indian opener Virender Sehwag but cautioned him to have respect for the bowlers and the game. Richards feels that the dashing batsman might be stuck for now but 'intuition' tells him that something big is around the corner.
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"Sehwag is at the red light at the moment. What is encouraging is the 95-run knock (against Mumbai Indians). People say he is gone but you don't bluff your way to 95. There's something still in him which suggests he just needs that big break. There's life left in him," Richards told TOI even as Delhi prepare to face Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Friday evening.
Richards' presence in the Daredevils dressing room was the highlight of the team's win over Mumbai Indians the day after his appointment. The legend took part in the team huddle and chatted for a while with Sehwag and other youngsters.
Sehwag, who broke Daredevils' six-match losing streak with an unbeaten 95, then said that it were the words of wisdom from the Caribbean legend before the encounter against Mumbai that helped him.
"Viv Richards also spoke about bluffing. He said even if a batsman feels scared inside he should show that he is confident," said Sehwag at the time. Since then Viru has scores of -- 23, 28, 17, 8 and 11.
Delhi have improved as a team with a couple of more wins under their belt but not remotely in the fray for a playoff spot. What Richards, the former swashbuckling West Indian, is doing though is prepare the team for future endeavours.
"They were 6-zip when I came here. We haven't got a bad record since I have been here - losing three but winning three too. I have worked with some of the players but I try not to overstate the facts about the game which is very simple in itself," said Richards in the interview.
It is Sehwag though, currently sidelined from the national team due to an acute shortage of runs, who needs all the pep talk from the legend himself.
Richards once again reiterated that Sehwag needs to learn from Chris Gayle, who has altered his approach to batting.
"We know Sehwag's style and I've been impressed with his aggression. When things are not quite working for you, sometimes you can still bluff, and I use examples like Chris Gayle. When everyone knows you have that sort of aggression then people are expecting you to do it from Ball 1 or Ball 2, and most times there will be guys in the circle who will concede the single.
"The bluff is to take that single. It helps because it gets you into a right frame of mind... you can always catch up. So that's the bluff, rather than a fiery start. Also, every batsman has to have some sort of respect for the bowler, respect for the game itself," said Richard in the interview.
In another recent chat with the media, Richards had said: "We all know that Sehwag is a magnificent player. What has happened to him can happen to the best of players. But I will always have him in my team."
It is now time for Viru though, to deliver the goods and prove his worth, not just at the IPL but also to the national selectors. Champions Trophy snub will hurt but as they say, beware the wounded tiger!