Graeme Smith Feels Virat Kohli Can Revive The Importance Of Test
By CricShots - Nov 3, 2018 10:14 am
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Former South Africa skipper, Graeme Smith reckons that the Indian skipper Virat Kohli is a “superstar” who will be playing a big role in keeping Test cricket alive. This year has been great for the Indian skipper, who has achieved some of the greatest feats in One-Day cricket including the fastest to reach the 10,000 club.

Virat Kohli

While addressing the Jagmohan Dalmiya Annual Conclave (Chapter II) in Kolkata on Friday, Smith said, “World cricket is lacking a huge amount of superstars. Maybe one or two in England. I think Virat (Kohli) is that guy (superstar). The fact that he loves Test cricket and puts in performances, it keeps Test cricket relevant in a country that loves the game with IPL and other T20s. It’s huge for the game. As long as Virat keeps promoting Test cricket as an icon and superstar, we all have the chance to keep the game relevant.”

Smith played 117 Tests while leading the Proteas in 109 of them, criticised the Kookaburra balls for adding to Test cricket’s misery. This has come at a time when some of the Indian players including Kohli, who have criticized the quality of SG balls.

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Terming the quality of Kookaburra balls as huge issue, Smith said: “The Kookaburra balls in particular is letting people down. It’s a ball that softens and does not swing for a long period of time. I think Test cricket cannot afford to have boring draws. It needs the ball to spin, it needs the ball to swing and movement in the air. It needs competition between the bat and the ball so as to keep Test cricket stay relevant.”

India-Australia was expected to play pink ball Test

There has been a lot of debate over making some changes to Test cricket in order to keep it alive and the 37-year-old South African offered a “simple solution” to bring in more competitiveness in the format.

Graeme said, “Unfortunately in Test cricket, we have lost a few dynamic teams. There are teams who are going through transformation phases. I believe if world cricket is competitive all formats will work. Test cricket is the ultimate test of your ability and skill and your physical state. The challenge is to get competitive teams outside the top three. Then if we add some of the nuances people will start take seriously.”

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India will be locking horns with Australia for a full tour starting next month with an aim to script a maiden series Down Under. In their recent overseas tour to England, India suffered a 1-4 drubbing while earlier this year they lost 1-2 in South Africa.

Showering praise on India’s pace battery, Smith said India have it in them to win Down Under this time. He concluded, “They (India) will be disappointed that they have not won a Test series in South Africa and England. I think they can challenge teams in their own conditions. They have the talent and ability to do well in Australia. India’s seam attack is one of the best that we have seen. Not just one, but the whole attack is outstanding. You now have young seamers who can hurt the opposition.”