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‘Aren’t only looking at Virat Kohli or a Dhoni’

Richie Richardson

Dhaka: Sir Richard ‘Richie’ Richardson, the recently Knighted manager of the West Indies team, is comfortable with the prospect of opponents largely focusing on champion batsman Chris Gayle.

“That would suit us just fine as such a policy could help the others to play freely... Chris is an outstanding batsman, capable of exploding, but we won’t collapse mentally if he doesn’t have a good World T20,” Richardson, a former captain, told The Telegraph on Saturday afternoon.

The West Indies, according to Richardson, are neither intimidated by any side in the tournament nor are they taking any team lightly.

It’s a prudent line for the reigning champions to take.

Richardson added: “It’s best to stay positive and neither overestimate nor underestimate any side... The format is such that it could turn out to be anybody’s day, so we respect every opponent...

“We aren’t only looking at Virat Kohli or a (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni. That could lead to a situation where Shikhar Dhawan walks away with the glory... We’ll be planning for the team, not individuals.”

Richardson made the point that with so many of the West Indies players turning out in the IPL, there was “nothing” that the sides didn’t know about each other.

When informed that former India captain Kapil Dev had placed the West Indies a notch above the others, Richardson said: “That’s really nice... I respect Kapil and I respect his views too.”

That spinners left such a huge impression in the World T20’s opening Super 10 match, featuring India and Pakistan, on Friday night, hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“One expects spinners to play a role in the subcontinent, whatever the format... I’m aware that Amit Mishra took two for 22 and was the MoM yesterday, but our spin attack is led by Sunil Narine,” Richardson maintained.

Narine and Samuel Badree have the advantage of working with Saqlain Mushtaq, the former Pakistan off-spinner who introduced the doosra.

Saqlain, who has settled down in the UK, is a consultant, with the designation of assistant coach.