New Delhi:India skipper Virat Kohli says Test cricket should not be tinkered with and does not see it getting compressed to four days as ICC mulls ways to prop up the sport’s traditional format.
Kohli has been one of the top run-getters in Tests in recent times and plays and talks about it with passion. “I cannot explain to you the satisfaction that you get when you do well in Test cricket because you know how demanding it is,” Kohli said.
“I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere. I don’t even see it getting compressed to four days,” he added.
Asked if he looks at the proposed four-day Test matches as a backward step, India’s batting mainstay said, “Definitely. It should not be tinkered with.”
The increasing number of T20 leagues has posed a threat to the traditional five-day format with the ODIs close to facing an existential crisis. “In a few countries, yes. If you take a country like South Africa or Australia or England, they have big crowds for the Test matches because people understand the sport,” he said.
ICC will introduce a nine-team two-year Test World Championship in 2019 alongside a 13-team ODI league as well as trialling four-day matches. Kohli is in favour of the forthcoming Test Championship. “I think that is going to give a huge push to Test cricket. It makes every series more competitive and there’s going to be ups and downs throughout the Championship, which I really look forward to. The teams that love playing Test cricket are always going to be passionate about it.”
“And with the T20 format coming in I think there’s far greater responsibility on all the cricket boards to treat first-class cricket really well, because if the facilities and the standard goes up, then the motivation always stays,” he added.
The prolific scorer said his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the only captain he has picked up aspects of leadership from.
“Not really anyone before MS,” Kohli said.