Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq has said that Sir Vivian Richards, Sanath Jayasuriya and AB de Villiers were three players who, according to him, changed the game of cricket and gave it a "new style" due to the aggressive manner in which they batted.
Considered as one of the greatest Pakistani batsmen of all time, Inzamam in his Youtube channel said that former West Indies captain Richards changed the way batsmen approached fast bowlers. "Years ago it was Viv Richards, who changed the game. At that time batsmen used to play fast bowlers on the backfoot but he showed everyone how to play them off the front foot. He taught everyone that fast bowlers can be attacked. He was an ever great player," he said.
Richards played 121 Tests, scoring 8540 runs at an average of 50.23. In 187 ODIs, Richards scored 6721 runs at an average of 47. But the most impressive part about his batting in ODIs was his strike rate of 90.20.
Inzamam then said that former Sri Lankan opener Jayasuriya changed the way batsmen approach the initial overs of an innings. "The second change was brought in by Sanath Jayasuriya. He decided to attack the fast bowlers in the first 15 overs. Before his arrival, the ones who used to hit the ball in the air were not considered proper batsmen but he changed the perception by hitting the fast bowlers over the infield in the first 15 overs," he said.
Inzamam said former Proteas captain de Villiers brought an overall change to scoring runs with his big-hitting and versatile placement of shots. "The third player who changed cricket was AB de Villiers. He changed cricket for the third time. I would credit the fast-paced cricket that you see in ODIs and T20s today to de Villiers. Previously, batsmen used to hit the straight bat. De Villiers came in, started to hit the paddle sweeps, reverse sweeps," the former Pakistani skipper said.
Another common factor according to Inzamam among the three was their mental strength and ability to bounce back from every scenario.
(With agency inputs) (Image credits: AP)