The 143-year history of the International cricket dished out a plethora of sensational cricketers who changed the face of the cricketing globe. Two of the finest cricketers of all eras includes the name of Imran Khan and Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, who led Pakistan and West Indies respectively.
Viv Richards represented the maroon jersey in 308 International games while Imran Khan is a veteran of 263 International fixtures. Both the players led their teams at the highest level of the game and carried impressive winning percentage, highlighting their sparkling abilities to lead the respective units.
Drawing any sort of comparison between the two legends might be an insult to this iconic game. However, we aim to explore their abilities to counter the tumultuous situations using a numerical lens.
While the International cricket comes across as a demanding exercise, the pressure becomes double when it comes to tournaments like the World Cup. Nevertheless, legends have the knack of putting their best game forward in such pressure situations. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going and it remains evident from the careers of these two aforementioned cricketers.
Coming to World Cup cricket, the Caribbean superstar played 23 games while accumulating a total of 1013 runs. Doing so, he smashed 3 centuries to manage a glorious batting average of 63.31. Not only that, his handy ability with leather aided him in claiming 10 World Cup wickets at 34.50. Imran, on the other hand, played 28 such contests in World Cup with 1 century, the star cricketer managed 666 runs, averaging 35. With ball in hand, he was a beast as he claimed 34 wickets at a sparkling bowling average of 19.26, which is better than most bowlers of his era.
If we explore the tournament finals, Viv certainly takes the lead as has 836 runs in 18 games. With a best score of 138, the batting giant averaged 55.73. He also picked 5 wickets in these contests. Coming to Pakistani legend, Imran has a mediocre batting average of 21.44 in 10 games which was boosted by his brave half-century in the final of 1992 World Cup against England. With ball, Imran hunted 10 victims at 31.50.
As far as the tournament semi-finals are concerned, Viv seems to overpower Imran yet again. In 5 semi-finals, Viv has 128 runs with an average of 42.66. Again, he flexed his muscles with ball to pick 3 wickets. Playing a total of 8 such games, Imran averaged 30.60 with bat while mustering 153 runs, he also bagged 5 wickets at 44.20.
Reviewing the above numbers, Vivian Richards seems to have fared better in games with immense pressure. While Imran is perhaps the best cricketer ever produced by Pakistan, he came second in this race. Nevertheless, it has always been a pleasure to see these two players doing all they can to bring pride to their countries.
We would like to reiterate that the text merely used numbers to review the performances of the two legends in different circumstances. In fact, the world was blessed to see the two absolute talismanic athletes giving their best in cricket grounds to enthrall the ever swelling fan-base of this beautiful game.