England can be number one in Tests: Viv Richards

Dubai, Feb 13 (IANS) West Indies legend Viv Richard said on Saturday that England can be the top ranked nation in Test matches if they can continue their rich vein of form.

England beat South Africa 2-1 in the four match Test series recently and Richards praised the quality of the current squad.

“When you look at the English team and the way they played in South Africa – they demoralised South Africa in my opinion,” Richards was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“That team itself does have the quality and the depth. When I say depth you have (all rounder) Moeen Ali coming in at number eight. Ben Stokes, he has performed incredibly well over the past year and when you look at his performance you could easily say he is one of the better all rounders in world cricket today. He has been very, very special.

“So having that team and (James) Anderson and (Stuart) Broad and that four-pronged attack, it is a very special team. If they can maintain their form I can’t see why they shouldn’t be the number one team in the world,” he added.

Richards believes that the England squad have the potential to climb to the top spot.

“Certainly, the potential is there and the talent is there and they’ve got the substance to become number one,” he said.

While Richards praised England’s development in the Test arena, he did not wish to speak too much about Kevin Pietersen’s continued absence from the international stage. The pair is currently working together at the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League.

“I am not going to get into that,” Richards said when asked about Pietersen’s non-selection in England’s squad for the upcoming World T20 in India.

“I do not deal with other people’s problems. But what I can say is that whoever he is playing for, that team is going to benefit. I do not worry about history. It is for them to think about whether they think he’s good or not to be in the team.

“But I can say the Quetta Gladiators would certainly benefit from his experience being in the team,” he said.

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