The cricketing world is divided now over the idea of having four-day Tests instead of five. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has floated the proposal to curtail the traditional format by a day to accommodate more short-format games.
But not all are okay with the idea and India head coach Ravi Shastri is the latest to join the list of protesters. Speaking in agreement with captain Virat Kohli and former captain Sachin Tendulkar, Shastri outright called the concept “nonsense” and added that if indeed four-day Tests are settled with, the top six teams should be kept out of such experiment.
Even members of the ICC Cricket Committee like Mahela Jayawardene expressed his personal disapproval of the idea of having four-day Tests. Such matches have been played in the past but involved low-ranked sides like Zimbabwe and Ireland against top teams like South Africa and England, respectively.
“Four-day Test is nonsense. If this goes on we may have limited-overs Tests. There is no need to tamper with five-day Tests. If at all they want to tamper then let the top six sides play five-day Tests and the next six be allowed to play four-day Tests. If you want to preserve Tests, then let the top six play more against each other. You have the shorter format to popularise the game,” the 57-year-old said in an interview with CNN News18.
“Day-night Test is still under test”: Ravi Shastri
The former all-rounder, who played in 80 Tests for India between 1981 and 1992, said day-night Tests are a work in progress and asked the ICC to get the ball right. “Day-night Test is still under test. I still feel that the pink ball does not give any advantage to spinners, they need to get the ball right for day night. During the day you have full Tests, by night it looks like half Test. I still feel that you will get more people to watch Tests if you have the top six play each other (more often),” Shastri added.
Team India’s head coach also gave a major update about former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future plan. He said considering the ace wicket-keeper’s age, he is best suited for the shortest format. He also added that they had a discussion over Dhoni’s future in the Indian team but said it could not be divulged in public.
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