Indian captain, Virat Kohli, in an interview with Wisden Cricket, has said that Test Cricket is the most beautiful format and should not be tinkered with.
I could not agree more.
All you have to do is just watch Kohli while playing Test Cricket to know what kind of player he is, what kind of work ethic he has. His dominance in the format, his desire to succeed in the format sets him apart from the rest.
In 2018 alone, he has showcased some of the most incredible Test batting performances in the world. In the third and final Test against South Africa earlier this year, in those dangerous batting conditions, and in the ongoing Test series against England, he has demonstrated such class and skill, it is inspiring.
I have long said that Test Cricket isn’t dying, it’s being killed by administrators who are only looking to make quick money to cater for those T20 fans, who haven’t taken the time to learn what Test Cricket is about.
In the interview, Kohli says:
“I think that if you really understand the sport, if you really love the sport, you understand Test cricket and you understand how exciting it is.”
How true are those words? If you understand the complexities of the format, you understand that a session where no wickets fall and the run-rate is a little over 1.5 an over, is sometimes the most enthralling passage of play. You only have to look at the Dean Elgar/Hashim Amla partnership in the second Test against Australia earlier this year to see that.
He continues in the interview, by saying:
“I cannot explain to you the job satisfaction that you get when you do well in Test cricket, because you know how demanding it is. It’s the most beautiful format of the game. I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere. I don’t even see it getting compressed to four days. It should not be tinkered with.”
He also understands the importance of first-class cricket in making sure the Test game continues to grow, saying in the interview:
“If you’re not going to give more importance to first-class cricket, then people are going to lose motivation to play the longest format of the game.”
He continued saying:
“And with the T20 format coming in I think there’s far greater responsibility on all the cricket boards across the world to treat first-class cricket really well, because if the facilities and the standard goes up, then the motivation always stays. You don’t want players to get into that mindset where they’re finding the easy way out.”
I hope all the cricket administrators around the world will listen to his words and not tinker with the beauty that is Test Cricket. As Kohli himself said, if you understand it, you won’t find it boring.
Words cannot express how much respect I have for Kohli for saying this. Yes his arrogance on the field is something he could learn to tone down, but no-one can fault his application at the crease or his ambition to be the best and succeed.
He is a great role model for any young child wanting to get into the game and play the best format out there. Test Cricket.