We have pitted batter vs batter and Bowler vs Bowler in these head to head battles but this is the first time that I will be writing about a batter vs Bowler Rivalry and we are starting with a great one as today I will write about Viv Richards vs Dennis Lillee.
They are two of the best from West Indies and Australia who did lots of battles throughout their careers. Before we get into the head to head let’s see their individual stats for once. Viv Richards scored more than 15000 runs in his international career across both Tests and ODIs and he has a total of 35 international hundreds to his name. And Dennis Lillee has taken more than 450 international Wickets in his illustrious career put of which 355 are in test matches. He also has 24 Five wicket hauls in his career. Let’s look at their Head to Head now
Head to Head-1975
Viv Richards and Dennis Lillee played against each other in the 1970s and the 1980s where West Indies and Australia were the 2 power houses of cricket. They first played each other in Australia and in that series it was Lillee who was the star of that series by picking 27 Wickets and won the series for Australia 5-1. In that series Lillee dismissed Viv Richards 3 times but all the three times Viv had crossed the 50 run mark so this round goes to Lillee.
They next faced each other in the famed Kerry Packer series and that series was built around Richards vs Lillee and there also Dennis Lillee for the better of Viv Richards as he got him out a record 8 times and it was looking like Viv Richards would always get out to Dennis Lillee at that time.
This is where the tide started to turn in this Head to Head as Viv Richards started to dominate Dennis Lillee in this series and he scored 386 runs at a mind boggling average of 96.80 and helped West Indies secure a 2-1 series victory and Viv Richards was its main star.
This is where Dennis Lillee got his redemption after a horror of a 1979 series vs Viv Richards and it was at the MCG that he got his revenge and co incidentally he got 7-93 in this test match which is also the best bowling performance of his career and in that he got out Viv Richards and it was the biggest wicket out of the 7. This was the 9th time in test cricket that Lillee has gotten Viv Richards out and it is the most number of times he has gotten out to a bowler as well.
Check Here: Top 5 Dennis Lillee bowling performances
Overall Rivalry and my opinion
Viv Richards fared very well against Dennis Lillee as he averaged 48.73 in the test matches that featured Dennis Lillee and he scored lots of runs against the great Australia bowler but for Dennis Lillee he had the honor of dismissing the great Vivian Richards out 9 times in test cricket which Is more than any other bowler in history to ever bowl to Viv Richards. And Viv Richards has himself said that Dennis Lillee was the one bowler who used to keep him awake at night.
My opinion is that these two great champions brought out the best in each other and seeing a great batter and Bowler do that to each other is must-see TV. I unluckily was unable to see this unfold from my own eyes but looking at how great they have both been, it must have been a treat watching these 2 go at it and sadly these duels are getting lesser day by day as it is becoming a batters game.
Also Read: Top 5 Best Viv Richards Batting performances