Lack of mental strength was India's undoing: Viv Richards

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2007, 10:10 [IST]
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St Peter's, Antigua, Mar 28: Legendary West Indies batsman Vivian Richards &13;feels that India's shocking first round exit from the cricket World Cup was due &13;to their lack of mental toughness. ''Modern day cricket is all about &13;power and mental strength and the team hoping to win the World Cup must have &13;these qualities,'' Richards said.Speaking to Indian reporters here at &13;the newly built stadium named after him, Richards said, ''You have a very &13;talented side, but are they mentally tough? When you see Australia you see not &13;one but 11 mentally strong players which will naturally creat problems for any &13;other team. It's all about how tough you are,'' he said.

The former West &13;Indies skipper, however, refused to comment on Sachin Tendulkar's future when &13;asked about what it looked like in the batting maestro's case.

''I am &13;not going to say anything on this. I will not speak or make a case for any &13;individual player. But, I am disappointed he (Tendulkar) couldn't score much and &13;feel sad for all the fans at home.'' Richards also defended coach Greg Chappell &13;saying that he alone should not be blamed for India's early exit from the World &13;Cup.

''It's a collective responsibility. All the batsmen failed, you &13;can't blame him alone,'' said the twice World Cup winner, considered to be &13;cricket's most destructive player.

He lavished praise on Australian &13;skipper Ricky Ponting and said, ''Look at him when he is batting. His bat is &13;like a door when he is set. That is what the youngsters should be learning.'' &13;''It is going to be very tough out there and you need to perform,'' he said &13;while side-stepping a question on whether players be selected on the basis of &13;their past records.

''Well I will not answer that question, you will &13;have to tell me which player or players you are referring to.'' He agreed that &13;any player can have an ''off day'', but at such level of competition ''you can't &13;have too many off days''.

''In World cup, upsets are expected and India's &13;early exit can be termed as an upset. When a team fails it is collective failure &13;because cricket is a team game, no one indvidual is responsible for win or &13;defeat in this sport.'' he said.

The West Indian great was of the view &13;that the Cup was still wide open though Australians are in good &13;form.

''They (Australia) will meet with stiff resistance from other &13;teams, it is not going to be that easy for them,'' Richards &13;predicted.


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