Don’t think Test cricket is dying: Anil Kumble on idea of 4-day format

Written by Vimukhti

Indian captain Virat Kohli, as well as former England skipper Andrew Strauss spoke against the proposal of four-day Test matches, and supporting their argument is the legendary former Indian spinner Anil Kumble.

Kumble, who is also the chairman of the all-important ICC Cricket Committee, said that a four-day match ‘wouldn’t be a Test’.

“The sense of what I think about it is the players have given that. I mean, they don’t want a four-day Test,” said Kumble in an event organised by The Hindu.

“Five-day Test is what it is. And a Test it is because it is five days. If it was four days, it wouldn’t be a Test. I am very clear on that.”

Kumble believes that Test matches need better competition, with teams battling in hard conditions to provide an excellent spectacle.

“One thing that all of us as fans would want is better competition in a Test match. You want more teams to compete harder against each other. Not just last for five days, but the ability of a spinner coming in…and the match-up between a batsman playing a spinner on a fourth-day pitch, on a fifth-day pitch is something you want to see, the battle between that,” said Kumble.

“If you see in the last 18 months or two years, results in Test cricket have been phenomenal. The runs per wicket has come down drastically from what it used to be, which means there is better balance between bat and ball. So in that sense Test cricket is certainly giving you the right feelers, of saying, yes, it is still healthy.”

The former Indian captain also believes that the fans remain interested in Test cricket, and that there is a need to harness the interest.

“I still remember, I had to push and nudge through where cops were asking us to stop and show our tickets. And I was only eight or ten at that time and then my cousin said ‘He’s a ten-year old, let him in’ and we watched the match between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu at the Chinnaswamy Stadium and the stadium was packed for a Ranji Trophy game. So there is still interest, it is just a matter of harnessing that interest and making [it] accessible to people who want to come in, and that’s something we need to look at,” concluded Kumble.

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