‘Viv Richards - there was a high-strung energy to his swagger. Miandad sauntered to the centre like he was already 180 not out; he'd chat, he'd sing, he'd jest and joke’ - Gideon Haigh perfectly captured the charisma of two maverick cricketers of the 70s and 80s, describing the era quite aptly.
Haigh then added, “Richards merely made it look as though you weren't good enough to bowl to him; Miandad said it to your face. He'd pick on Dilip Doshi, for instance, charging down the wicket then dead-batting him, hissing contemptuously: "I should have hit that for six!”
That was Miandad for you. And that was also the allure Richards held in an era of great West Indian cricketers who would go to any extent to bully you with a cricket bat or ball in hand. Because they knew their worth and cricket field sauntered to become a theatre with oomph being provided from every nook and cranny. Could you ever have enough of it?
For most of us born in the late 80s and early 90s, it was the histrionics from the old cricket videos that popped up but never so marginalised in the corner of the brain. So to bring the fresh perspective, we, at SportsCafe, are rumbling the two mavericks in a Boxing Ring. Let’s see who comes out on top. So without any further ado - Let’s get ready to rumble.
ROUND 1 -> CAREER AVERAGE: Sir Viv draws first blood!
So cool and calm, you trust Sir Vivian Richards to deliver in front of your eyes, without batting an eye-lid. As Miandad brings his punch near Richards’ face, the Caribbean superstar lands an inimitable one, worth 47, to squeeze Miandad to a 41.7-sized punch. First round secured and how!
Richards - 10 Miandad - 8
ROUND 2 -> AVERAGE IN FOREIGN CONDITIONS: If you didn’t know this, you didn’t know Richards!
Swagger in his walk and confidence in his stroke-play, it didn’t really matter to Sir Viv where he was batting. But as a matter of fact, when Miandad went out of Pakistan, he suffered a measurable dip which is on show in the ring today. Viv delivers the ultimate sucker punch and that 56.82 force is the biggest differentiator to Miandad’s 38.98 average away from home. This is turning out to be insane.
Richards - 10 Miandad - 7
ROUND 3 -> AVERAGE IN HOME CONDITIONS: Table's turned right here!
After conceding two rounds to the Caribbean superstar, the inimitable Pakistani shows his style, with his average at home pinning Richards on the mat. Miandad, whose average peaks to 47.04 at home, is way ahead of Richards’ 36.59 and bags a straight 10-pointer here.
Richards - 8 Miandad - 10
ROUND 4 -> AVERAGE IN NEUTRAL VENUES: The Pakistani Jazba is back and how!
A star in foreign soil, Sir Viv couldn’t sustain the same rigour in the neutral venues and the same is being reflected here inside the ring. Miandad has warmed himself up for an interesting battle after winning the third round and it seems he is winning the fourth by a whisker as well. Viv responded with 38.36 neutral average after Miandad showed his 41.04, and that is fate sealed. Does the margin matter though? NO. What matters is Miandad has two rounds now. He can now go in his own style and dish out a “Take that, Viv”.
Richards - 9 Miandad - 10
ROUND 5 -> 50 TO 100 CONVERSION (in %): Roll that down the beach!
Miandad might have made a comeback but Vivian Richards is not going to sit there as a mere spectator. He govelled one down his throat in such impeccable manner that the Pakistan man’s 50 to 100 conversion of 13.79% is nothing in front of Richards’ 19.64. You can’t argue much here. Level a 10-8 and move on, buddy.
Richards - 10 Miandad - 8
Round 6 -> % OF 50s IN WINNING CAUSES: Ah Well! The Master in action!
Richards played in arguably one of the greatest dynasties the sport has ever seen and it is natural that he has a lot of half-centuries, to be precise 71.11%, in winning causes. On the other hand, the Imran Khan-led team has a comparatively lower number of win percentage, which is proven from the fact that Miandad has 56% of his half-centuries converted to wins. This is a proven indicator but Miandad is really angry at the moment and exchanges a stare as we move to the next round.
Richards - 10 Miandad - 7
Round 7 -> % OF 100s IN WINNING CAUSES: This is a crazy punch!
Do you know what is dominance? Dominance is what you are going to witness at this moment. Sir Viv got up and tightened his gloves and landed such a dismissive punch that Javed Miandad was gasping for breathe on the mat. He was knocked down after seeing Viv Richards’ 100% record of helping the side win in all the matches he scored a century. Let’s get one fact straight - Miandad’s 62.5 is no less but surely, 100% is insane. We have to see if Miandad can get up and fight again.
Richards - 10 Miandad - 6
Round 8 -> AVERAGE IN MAJOR TOURNAMENTS: KNOCKED OUT!
Well, you can never discount the Jazba - a spirit borne out of an inherent belief that any hopeless situation is reversible and that we can see in Miandad’s case here. But the pressure exerted on him in the last round seems too hot to handle with Richards’ World Cup average of 63.31 almost being 20 more than the Pakistani’s 43.32. With that, Miandad has been clattered to the ground and we have a clear winner.
WINNER BY KNOCKOUT - SIR ISAAC VIVIAN ALEXANDER RICHARDS
Final Score - VIV Richards - 96, Javed Miandad - 78
What a bout we had! Sure enough, Sir Vivian Richards made it look like a clear case of single-handed round-about, but we all know the fighting power Miandad showcased. That is what our Friday Fights is all about. We love a good story, we love a good match-up. I am sure you must’ve had a great time following this battle in the ring. We look forward to having you once again.