Anil Kumble Hails Test Cricket in T20 Landscape

Former India captain talks up five-day game

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Former India captain and current ICC cricket committee chairman Anil Kumble has vouched for the popularity of Test cricket in a landscape increasingly affected by T20 competition.

T20 tournaments like South Africa's Mzansi Super League, the Hong Kong T20 Blitz and the Euro T20 Slam are relatively new additions to the global cricket calendar. The Indian Premier League, Australia's Big Bash League, Pakistan Super League, Bangladesh Premier League and other remain.

The ICC, meanwhile, are contemplating trialing Test cricket across four days rather than five. This has been done previously, in isolation, but not for an extended period.

What Kumble said

“I think everybody wants to play Test cricket. This generation certainly want five-day cricket and that's something very obvious. There is some challenge in keeping everyone focused and pushed towards playing domestic competition, especially Ranji Trophy,” said Kumble.

“Very few players are common to formats and it's getting lesser and lesser. But I don't think there is any dearth in people wanting play the longer format. I think everybody wants to, they realise that's the biggest challenge and I'm sure that's going to be the case for a long time.”

India won't play Test cricket until later this year. They are currently contesting an ODI series against Australia and will then play five T20Is against New Zealand. The Indian Premier League and T20 World Cup will follow.

Plenty of the country's young talent – like batsmen Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant – will play in the 2020 IPL and vie for inclusion in the squad for the T20 World Cup.

“One thing I would tell any youngster is don't look at somebody. Selectors are there to actually drop you, not pick you. Because you pick yourself. At the end of it, your performances count and then you certainly pick yourself. The selector or whoever is picking you is there to drop you not really to pick you that I think one must be aware of,” added Kumble.

“One failure and heavens come down on you, that's the part you need to be mature about handling. But you currently also have more opportunities to come back and show case your talent – in IPL or Ranji Trophy or any other format. It's understanding what roles you play.”

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