The ICC cricket committee will soon be discussing the idea of four-day Test matches, but it will, in all likelihood, get a red flag from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as the Indian board seems to be standing form behind skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri.
Both the captain and the head coach have not minced their words in clarifying their stand of not letting Test cricket shouldn’t lose its sheen by turning from a five-day affair into one of four days. Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official said that while the board will discuss the matter with Cricket Australia and the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) around the BCCI awards on January 12 in Mumbai, the board will support Kohli and coach Shastri.
The BCCI official explained, “See, it is only right that you discuss these matters and we will do the same with CA, ECB, and Cricket South Africa. But as things stand now, we are on the same platform as our skipper and coach and don’t see much sense in cutting Test cricket to four days from the conventional five. It might be an option for the lower-ranked teams, but not when two big teams clash.”
Kohli had expressed his clear opinion on the eve of the opening T20I between India and Sri Lanka in Guwahati as he said that the traditional format of the game shouldn’t be altered.
Virat further explained, “You know the Day-Night Test is the most that should be changed about Test cricket, according to me. Then you are purely only talking about getting numbers, entertainment and you know. I think the intent will not be right then because then you will speak of three-day Tests. So I don’t endorse that at all. I don’t think that is fair to the purest format of the game.”
Shastri also called the idea nonsensical. He feels that it will lead to the limited-overs Tests. He feels that Test cricket shouldn’t tamper further.
The Indian coach explained, “If at all they want to tamper then let the top six sides play five-day Tests and the next six be allowed to play four-day Tests. If you want to preserve Tests then let the top six play more against each other. You have the shorter format to popularise the game.”
While the meeting of the Big Three is set to take place next week and will see discussions on the ICC’s proposal of 4-day Tests, it looks unlikely that the BCCI will budge from the stance taken by skipper Kohli and coach Shastri.