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Aakash Chopra Sounds Alarm Bells For Test Cricket, Labels Current State As Grave
By CricShots - Jan 3, 2024 4:01 pm
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Former cricketer Aakash Chopra has raised concerns about the future of Test cricket, citing the team selections of South Africa and Pakistan as indicators of the format’s challenges. Chopra emphasized that South Africa appears to prioritize the domestic T20 tournament over Test matches, evident in their second-string team selection for the upcoming series against New Zealand.

South Africa India
South Africa vs India

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra expressed his apprehensions about the current state of Test cricket, likening it to being in intensive care (ICU) and placed on a ventilator. He attributed this predicament to the limited participation of teams in Test matches.

“Believe it or not, Test cricket is in ICU at the moment and has been put on the ventilator. Firstly, a handful of teams play Test cricket and among them also, only three teams are left that can afford to play Test cricket,” Aakash Chopra remarked.

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The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed to South Africa’s recent team announcement for the series against New Zealand, noting the inclusion of relatively lesser-known players, and highlighted the parallel approach of Pakistan, which rested Shaheen Shah Afridi for the ongoing Sydney Test against Australia.

“Two Test matches of the WTC cycle have come this time. They said let’s leave the Test match and that they will play in the SA20, from (Aiden) Markram to (Kagiso) Rabada to everyone, that all of them should be available there (SA20) and the rest of the kids can play Test cricket. That is incident No. 1,” Aakash Chopra further elaborated.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra

He drew attention to Pakistan’s decision to rest Shaheen Shah Afridi for the New Year’s Test against Australia, questioning when was the last time an Asian team opted to rest their main player in Australia, even in a dead rubber, to prioritize readiness for T20 cricket.

Cricket South Africa had made a strategic move last year by withdrawing from the ODI series against Australia to prioritize player participation in the inaugural season of SA20, despite potential risks to their World Cup 2023 qualification.

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The future of Test cricket appears to face challenges as teams make strategic choices that seem to prioritize T20 tournaments over Test matches. New Zealand is set to host South Africa for two World Test Championship matches in February, providing a glimpse into the evolving dynamics of international cricket.