Viv Richards brands Pietersen cricket's Muhammad Ali

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 30, 2012 08:12 hrs

West Indies batting great Sir Vivian Richards has claimed controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen is in some ways similar to boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

Richards also tipped Pietersen to bounce back off the ropes and prove his doubters wrong during England's tour to India.

Pietersen was named No 4 in the England side playing India A in Mumbai on Tuesday, it's the first international outing for him since ending hostilities with the team management following last summer's text scandal.

Richards, who won seven Tests in India with the great Windies sides of the 1970s and 80s, expects a response on a par with one of the world's greatest boxers.

"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," the Sun quoted Richards, as saying.

"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," he added.

"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," he said.

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