London, Oct 30: West Indies' legendary cricketer Vivian Richards has said that England's Kevin Pietersen is the Mohammad Ali of cricket, and believes the stylish batsman has got the 'X-factor' in him to respond to his critics especially during the four-match Test series against India.
The West Indies great, who made his Test debut in Bangalore in the year 1974 and has led to 7 Test wins in India in the 1970, 80s, as the team boasted of many classy players during that period which saw them win two World Cups in 1975 and 1979, felt the England batsman's behaviour was similar to that of the greatest boxer Muhammad Ali.
"Kevin is a good player but talks himself into some issues. In the old days we had Muhammad Ali - the way he spoke and acted, people wanted to see him knocked out. But he was a great boxer," Richards was quoted as saying by 'The Sun'.
Though he refused to say that he was comparing Pietersen to Ali, but said their behaviour was quite similar and since Pietersen has the X-factor in him, he could respond to his critics.
"Now I'm not saying KP is exactly like Ali, that man was the greatest. But you can see through his behaviour that people want to take him down that little bit more. But because he has the X-factor he can respond to it.
Richards also added that Pietersen wasn't aware of the fact that he is very important for England, as he made things worse for himself.
"Looking from afar, he's his own worst enemy but you can't deny how good he is to watch and how important he is to England," the former West Indies skipper added.
After being dropped from the Test team for the third Test against South Africa, Pietersen had to undergo a couple of issues, as he was involved in a brawl with the Board and the then skipper Andrew Strauss, following the text row.
Apology and a session with the Board officials eased the problem as he was included in the 15-member squad for the tour of India after he was omitted from the squad for ICC World T20, that was held at Sri Lanka from Sep 18-Oct 7.