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Oct 30, 2012 at 06:41pm IST

'Pietersen is Muhammad Ali of cricket'

London: West Indian batting legend Vivian Richards reckons Kevin Pietersen is cricket's answer to Muhammad Ali, and believes the English batsman has got the "X-factor" to respond to his critics in the upcoming four-Test series in India.

Richards, who won seven Tests in India with the great West Indies teams of the 1970s and 80s, finds a similarity between Pietersen and the world's greatest boxer in terms of their behaviours.

"Kevin is a good player but talks himself into some issues. In the old days we had Muhammad Ali the way he spoke and acted, people wanted to see him knocked out. But he was a great boxer," Richards was quoted as saying by 'The Sun'.

Pietersen is Muhammad Ali of cricket: Richards

Viv Richards says that Kevin Pietersen is his own worst enemy but his talent and significance to England team are undeniable.

"Now I'm not saying KP is exactly like Ali, that man was the greatest. But you can see through his behaviour that people want to take him down that little bit more. But because he has the X-factor he can respond to it.

"Looking from afar, he's his own worst enemy but you can't deny how good he is to watch and how important he is to England," the West Indian great added.

Pietersen, who was chucked out of the team during the lost Test rubber at home against South Africa for sending unflattering messages to the rival camp about then captain Andrew Strauss and other team members, has made his return to the England fold in the ongoing tour of India.

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