Inzamam-ul-Haq has picked Viv Richards, Sanath Jayasuriya and AB de Villiers as batsmen who redefined the game of cricket for their respective generations. While he credited de Villiers as the inventor of fast-paced cricket, he hailed Richards and Jayasuriya for their attitude to attack pacers.
Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq picked three batsmen in the history of the game who shaped the style of cricket for their respective generation, who he believes set a precedent for the rest to follow. Inzamam’s pick were three legends of the game who brought in a revolution with the bat thanks to their courage and innovation.
The first on the former Pakistan skipper's list was great West Indies batsman Viv Richards, who is widely regarded as the 'father of aggressive cricket'.
Inzamam hailed the Windies star, who played 121 Tests scoring 8540 runs at an average of 50.23 and in 187 ODIs amassing 6721 runs at an average of 47, as the first batter to take on the quicks head-on.
“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 hit the ball in the air were not considered as proper batsmen but he changed the perception by hitting the fast bowlers over the infield in the first 15 overs,” Inzamam said in his YouTube video, reported Hindustan Times.
Second in his list of 'game-changers' was Sri Lankan legend Sanath Jayasuriya, a handy all rounder who took on pacers in the first 15 overs, something that turned out to be a master-stroke back then. While his unorthodox approach wasn’t welcomed by many during the initial stages, it then went on to revolutionize the art of batting, with openers modeling their game after Jayasuriya.
“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 hit the ball in the air were not considered as proper batsmen but he changed the perception by hitting the fast bowlers over the infield in the first 15 overs,” added Inzamam.
AB de Villiers, widely known as 'Mr. 360' for his uncanny ability to dispatch the ball all over the ground, completed Inzamam’s list. The former Pakistan international heaped the South African with praises for his out of the box thinking and hitting which popularised fast-paced cricket which has been ruling world cricket of late. Also known as the 'Superman of Cricket', de Villiers represented South Africa in 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is, scoring over 18,000 international runs.
“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,” said Inzamam.