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Test matches are cricket's 'life source' - Dravid

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 19, 2013

Comments: 119 | Text size: A | A
Dravid: 'Tests are cricket's life source'

Rahul Dravid addresses the media before India's departure for South Africa, Mumbai, November 13, 2006
"The fundamental core of every cricketer's game is enriched by playing four- and five-day cricket" © AFP

Rahul Dravid has made a spirited call for nurturing first-class and Test cricket, saying the longer and more traditional formats provide players with the grounding needed to prosper in the newer, shorter versions. The steps Dravid suggested for bolstering Tests included a more serious consideration of day-night Tests, increasing pay for long-form specialists, a streamlined and regularised cricket calendar, and providing more context to matches through competitions like the Test championship.

Perhaps the most radical idea Dravid proposed was for the less successful countries to find a way to involve some of their teams in the first-class structures of more robust cricketing nations, such as a Bangladesh side participating in the Indian domestic season.

Dravid was speaking at the ESPNcricinfo for Cricket event held in London on Monday, part of a series of events held to celebrate the website's 20th anniversary.

While highlighting the primacy of Tests, he acknowledged the benefits provided by Twenty20s, not just financially but with the innovations in cricket it has spurred. Dravid urged people to think beyond pat metaphors like "fast food v fine dining" when comparing the two formats, and, putting forth a more nuanced explanation of the difference between them, said he believed they could exist alongside each other.

"Test cricket, an older, larger entity is the trunk of a tree and the shorter game - be it T20 or ODIs - is its branches, its offshoots," he said. "Now to be fair, it is the branches that carry the fruit, earn the benefits of the larger garden in which they stand and so catch the eye. The trunk, though, is the old, massive, larger thing which took a very long time to reach height and bulk. But it is actually a life source: chip away at the trunk or cut it down and the branches will fall off, the fruit will dry up."

Dravid elaborated that the sustained examination cricketers faced in the longer version helped them, especially youngsters, better understand their basic game. "The fundamental core of every cricketer's game is enriched by playing four- and five-day cricket," he said. "By using those well-trained powers of adaptability, discipline, resilience and focus as a T20 cricketer, you will have double the advantage than the player possessed only of talent and timing.

"The skill of learning how to think clearly under pressure is required in T20, but it is built through having to endure pressure for a session, two sessions, an entire day, a series of spells."

Most of the biggest stars today honed their game over years of first-class cricket, but with the ever-increasing focus on T20, Dravid sounded a note of caution for the future. "We are, I believe, maybe one generation away from reaching the point where our entire youth structures could cater only to T20 without any emphasis on the longer form of the game. By not giving young players a chance to explore their versatility, endurance or even improvisational skills, we will be selling ourselves and our sport well short."

"We are, I believe, maybe one generation away from reaching the point where our entire youth structures could cater only to T20 without any emphasis on the longer form of the game. By not giving young players a chance to explore their versatility, endurance or even improvisational skills, we will be selling ourselves and our sport well short."

He then elaborated on measures to prop up the long form. "If that means reworking how first-class and Test players can be out on more lucrative contracts, let's get the accountants on this," he said. "If it means playing day-night cricket, we must give it a try, keep an open mind. The game's traditions aren't under threat if we play Test cricket under lights. I know there have been concerns about the durability of the pink ball, but I have had some experience of it having played for the MCC, and it seemed to hold up okay."

A regularised itinerary was another of Dravid's ideas. "We can start by sorting out the scheduling around Test cricket, to ensure that teams can complete their home-and-away cycles against each other over a four-year period. This will mean balancing and creating context for all the three formats." He argued that the Ashes didn't lose its lustre over the years partly because of its fixed place in the calendar, allowing a sense of anticipation to build up.

"If we can answer that question - what's this for? - with something other than the words 'television rights' we will have done well." One way to address the lack of context, he felt, was to have marquee tournaments like the Test championship and the Champions Trophy.

The most important step was to shore up first-class structures, especially in the smaller cricketing countries. "Bangladesh is a good example of a country with a great passion for the game and they don't lack in talent. But they are still struggling to find their feet, literally and figuratively, in Test cricket because of the lack of a strong first-class structure," he said. "Test cricket is not the place to start trying to learn new skills."

He argued that more established nations should help out the less-resourced countries, by integrating overseas teams in their domestic competitions, suggesting pairs of "India for Bangladesh, South Africa for Zimbabwe, England for West Indies, Australia for New Zealand." The way ahead was to put aside short-term profit and work collaboratively, he contended, since "we are a very small community and we can't afford to lose the members of our family".

Click here to read the full text of the speech

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (April 19, 2014, 11:09 GMT)

Who cares about test cricket. It is a waste of time and effort. It does not suit for the modern world.

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (August 22, 2013, 8:56 GMT)

Test match cricket sells out in Australia and England. It is what the people who watch cricket and play cricket take seriously. Can anyone even remember who won the international 20/20 or ODI games last summer in Australia? Of course not! The shorter forms of cricket are a novelty, only time will tell if they stay the course.

Given the alarming drop in attendances for 20/20 cricket in Australia the question begs whether this format will still be with us in 5 years? Can anyone remember a close 20/20 game. They are all lopsided encounters. You seldom get a close game.

Posted by VISH.R on (August 21, 2013, 15:21 GMT)

RESULTS ARE THE KEY The rise of T20 is not just about the short duration, entertainment value, etc. its also about the fact that these games produce results. Why stop only at pink balls? Why not go even further? A way to maintain different forms of the game would be to mesh Test cricket with 50 over games into a 4 day format that produces an end result. So for example, each team could play a first innings comprising 135 overs each (so 270 overs over 3 days) & the last day would be 50 overs each. If either team fails to last the 135 overs, they would be permitted to add this to their second innings 50 overs but the team that lasts the 135 overs would get runs added on to its first innings total equal to the number of overs the other team falls short multiplied by their innings run rate. However the team that falls to last the 135 overs still gets to add on those overs to their 50 over second innings.At the end of 4 days there will be a result not a draw!

Posted by baghels.a on (August 21, 2013, 10:10 GMT)

We as cricket fans have to realise realise cricket is a minority sport compared to truly global sport like Football and we can't afford to be divided among ourselves on basis of our likes and dislikes of a particular format.Football fans can afford to have views like i don't like English premiership or i don't like La Liga or Bundesliga or Italian Serie A .... because football is a global behemoth , day cricket reaches that level we can perhaps then afford to say stuff like i like/hate this format , but not now..

I know this is not an appropriate forum but i will offer best wishes to Atletico Madrid for there match against Barcelona tonight ...

Posted by   on (August 21, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

@palavadisuresh- what are u talking about. cook averages almost 40 in ODI's and steyn averages a a solid 29. So they are still good ODI players. So u are using 2 very poor examples compared to hundreds that aced ODI's but struggled Tests. There has been a lot of talks from commentators about doing well in ODI's but struggling in tests - yuvi and raina or obvious ones.

Posted by   on (August 21, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

T20 is only for the few batsmen playing from 1 to 4. Do you guys think that its fun to face 6 balls and you have to practice and put in all the effort and sacrifices. I think players would rather stop playing the game if they must bat at 6 in a T20 match. Dead is the game and real cricket skills. For some fans T20 is perhaps the Alpha and Omega but for the true cricket fan test, ODI and T20 is good. It give all types of players the opportunity and in some cases 1 player play all 3 formats.

Posted by Biggus on (August 21, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

@Capitalist:-Your forum name is nothing if not approporiate for one who states that "T20 is the future of cricket like it or not". You plainly love the idea of money, but the richest things in my life can't be bought. Cricket is being overrun by creatures like yourself who want the game to be something it was never meant to be. Rather than ruin cricket for people who like it the way it always was why doesn't T20 stop pretending to be cricket and call itself something like 'Funhit', or 'Whackball' or "Rock-n-hit". With the hullaballoo around IPL atm we could always call it "Gamefix" or "Shameball", so save us from your cold predictions please. All that glitters is not gold, and never was this more true than with T20.

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (August 21, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

@capitalist. Well said. T20 is best way to popularise cricket.

Posted by Capitalist on (August 21, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

This is rubbish, it's like saying only 5000 metres is the real track and Field and the 100 metre dash is rubbish. Each has it's own skill sets. If you bury your heads in the sand and only play test cricket, cricket is doomed. T20 is the future of cricket like it or not.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 20:22 GMT)

Dravid has some excellent ideas, and I hope the ICC use his talents (and the sooner the better). The stronger sides have a duty to accommodate the weaker teams. The idea of Bangladesh playing Ranji trophy is excellent (Ireland and Scotland should play 4 day county cricket as well as limited overs). The ICC can help with ensuring cricketers from the smaller nations get paid properly too (Kyle Jarvis, an excellent fast bowling prospect, has just quit Zimbabwe cricket for county cricket to get paid). Also test cricket should be proper;y promoted in places like India (on an equal footing with IPL promotion).

Posted by Tijara on (August 20, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

I did not know that some countries were not sending their U19 team or A-team on tours because of lack of money. This should not be allowed. Rather all expences and incomes should be shared equally between visiting and visited country.

Posted by CRIC_FAN94 on (August 20, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

May be Tests are cricket's life source but they are not life source for Players and Cricket Boards

Posted by Kirk-at-Lords on (August 20, 2013, 17:07 GMT)

Broadcast rights for T20 leagues could easily fund Test cricket forever. The real trick is how to make it a fun spectacle. For those who believe technology has all the answers, consider this: The fixtures could be populated with virtual CGI crowds. (Something like this is already done with adverts that can only be seen on-screen, so why not do it with spectators that could be toggled on or off as viewer desired?) Those who lack time to view the whole match live can see it on replay (cricket pioneered the practice on the internet in the early aughties) or highlights packages. There are even 4s, 6s and wickets packages on offer for the Ashes right now online via Willow TV. In short, all the objections to Tests can be overcome with a little ingenuity and dollops of tech. Just let a few quid or rupis slip off the gargantuan piles being racked up by IPL et al, and get on with it! And for those upset by the weather, how about some retractable domes? That would be Big Money, but worth it

Posted by Kirk-at-Lords on (August 20, 2013, 16:34 GMT)

Dravid is the James Madison of cricket reform. Madison created or collected most of the great ideas that went into the USA constitution that saved a new nation from near-certain disunity and disaster. What Madison needed was powerful yet wise friends who could put aside short-term comfort and gain for the Greater Good. Dravid has provided the inspiration; now the Big Men in the Sky Boxes must provide the rest. There is room in the world for Tests, and T20 has already had a major impact on batting styles - so much so that the average length of tests is heading toward about 3.5 days, and there is more opportunity for bowlers to get batsmen out. Tests should return the favour by making a "Super-T" version of T20 w/ 2 innings a side. Experiments have happened in AUS + NZ, but so far the opportunity has been missed. Another obvious opening is making the # of wickets lost short of 10 and runs scored count for something important; county 4-day matches do a bit of this w/ 1st inngs advntge

Posted by Rahulbose on (August 20, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

I am a test cricket fan, but I cannot agree with the idea that T20 cannot survive without Test or first class cricket. It is easy to imagine a domestic and international setup where only T20 and ODI matches are played. Yes the quality of players will suffer, but with no one playing test cricket you will not have a point of reference to compare and know that the quality of cricket you are watching/playing is worse. Today we cannot assess how current players would have done on uncovered pitches, maybe some skills have been lost we are blissfully unaware of it.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

i like the point dravid highlighted about the need to help and develop weaker cricketing nations for the good of cricket. The game can be popularised only when more and more teams raise their game and increase compitition

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

The most consistent T20 players have all played tests. Look at Dravid himself, Kallis, Hussey, Sangakarra, Steyn, Malinga, Warne Not just test players but PRIME test players. The batsmen listed there were known as being a bit "stodgy" in tests - but provide season in season out quality and a good run rate in T20. While the likes of Pollard and others are good for a hit now and then, teams with quality test players performing tend to do best. The tree analogy is very good - and likely very apt.

Posted by FrankHeaven on (August 20, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

A great speech. Great that we have thinkers like Dravid at the top of our game.

Absolutely spot on that the bigger nations should help the smaller nations more through the domestic first class game. Bangladesh, New Zealand, Ireland are three examples where the potential goes unfulfilled because of a weak domestic game.

We need more strong cricket playing nations, not an elite of four.

Posted by ada007 on (August 20, 2013, 12:25 GMT)

The problem is not the version of the game, rather the pitch that is used for the game. Which will test a batsman's technique, a test match on a batsman's surface or a T20 on a wicked surface. As long as we have batsman pitches it wont matter if its a test or one day or T20. Mr Dravid you are in a unique position where your opinion matters to people who care about the sport, so dig deeper, dont fight the useless battles fought many times before you and which will be fought after you, pick a few battles which though small at sight will have greater influences on the sport. Like pitches, bowler limitations, fielding restrictions etc.

Posted by KarthikSatyam on (August 20, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

Well said Dravid. But he could have also mentioned the captain's and the players' responsibility to play aggressive Cricket to draw crowds towards test matches. Right now other than Michael Clarke other Captains are content to just play for a draw even if they have everything to play for. Recent examples are Cook's defensive tactics in the current Ashes series and MS Dhoni's ultra defensive strategy in the dull test series against England late last year.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

An idea of Bangladesh playing in India's first class cricket is an awesome idea!!!!

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 12:06 GMT)

Here in the western cape we play all the formats in club cricket. We have a 50 over one day game, we have a 20/20 game where the finalists play on Newlands cricket ground and we have a test like game over 2 weeks where the fist innings consist of 60 overs and after that unlimited overs. 90% majority enjoy the longer format. When there is test matches at Newlands I make an effort to attend because its very good to see cricket being played live where there is a battle between bat and ball and not just flat and batsmen having a swing.

Back to club games. Our games are played mostly on wickets where the outfield and pitch grass looks the same colour. Then there is some guys who are not as fortunate who plays on wickets that looks like India's dust bowls. So in the end we get the best of both worlds. Imagine cricket without tests and 50 over cricket. Only t20 games. Might as well change the game to baseball then.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

Well said Dravid .Without the longer version of the cricket game the "Silky smooth" style players will no longer be seen and a new style of innovation for batting in the T20 game will be brought forward . its all about "get rich quick" American style that is spreading the world over no matter how it destroy the cricket game . The short version will have its crowd and so is the TEST . We the cricket loving public do hope the powers that be will see it necessary to embrace all formats of the game .

Posted by KishoreMalladi on (August 20, 2013, 11:36 GMT)

As usual brilliant stuff from one of the most respected international cricketers. Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game and is the real test of character for any player. Dravid is right in mentioning that Test cricket is like a trunk of a tree and without the trunk the branches and fruit bear no meaning. It would be very sane if rich and experienced cricket boards spend some time and help the less fortunate countries come up. It would indeed be a boon to those small countries and over a period of time, we get to see excellent competitive cricket from them too making each series a worth to play and see for.

Posted by passion4indiancric on (August 20, 2013, 11:06 GMT)

I agree with most, when Dravid speaks everyone sits up to listen. His oration is as good as his game. I also agree with a few who suggest to Dravid not to waste his breath since these Administrators are money hungry and there is no hunger for the game or the ones who play it straight. Why else will you see Australia and England play 5 tests and equal number of ODI's while other cricket playing nations play 2 or 3 tests and 5 or 6 ODI's and equal number of T20's. Do you think the Administrators of these 2/3 tests are interested in Cricket's development or Cricketers' Development? No way. It is sad but true, this is how they manage their respective cricket boards. I totally agree that it is past cricketers like Dravid and their ilk who have to manage the cricket boards.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 10:45 GMT)

Hope all he said is listened........ not over heard !!!

Posted by ravi_hari on (August 20, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

Test cricket is the key and Dravid is bang on when he said it is the trunk of the tree. ODI and T20 are definitely by products of Test cricket. If one needs to develop the game or a player, then tests are the only resource. Just look at a live example in Watson. He did so well in IPL and scored heavily in the ODIs before embarking on India tour. Eversince, he started playing 'test'cricket he started failing. Just one fifty in 8 tests hows how difficult test cricket is. Watson is unable to translate the same IPL form to tests. However, if we go back 4 years, when Watson was going great guns in tests he came to IPL and continued the same form with both bat and ball, also had a great World Cup. This clearly supports Dravid's argument. Tests create players for ODIs and T20s and not vice-versa. I also agree with Dravid's idea of involving teams from weaker nations playing in domestic trounaments or have foreign players like English county. It would help cricket as a whole.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 10:35 GMT)

As an Aussie, it gives me great comfort that there are still people like Rahul Dravid around. Most of the ex-Aussie "greats" offer nothing in the thinking department like Dravid. You get a lot of criticism, hot air and nothing much else. What a great description of the game too, with its trunk and branch analogy. A true gentleman and I can only hope that the ICC is listening.

Posted by jlw74 on (August 20, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

Always enjoy hearing what Rahul Dravid has to say. Outstanding cricketer and man. Pity if he read some of the comments posted by some on this forum. T20 cricket should be nothing more than a short burst domestic tournament run by boards to help boost the coffers and strengthen the 4 day domestic championships of each country to in turn strengthen the test sides of the test playing nations. Test cricket will never die out. I hate to point it out but test cricket and 4 day first class cricket is what cricket is. Always has been always will be. If your writing here that test cricket will die and that it has no place in the future and that it is boring you are wasting all of our time reading your ill informed opinions. Test cricket is unique in the sporting landscape because of its duration it's what makes it a test. Blokes bowling 4 overs and batting for a maximum of 60 balls give or take is a warm up not a cricket match. T20 may be here to stay but test cricket is going nowhere.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 10:23 GMT)

Great article, great insight, as usual. Just one problem. Please don't force NZ to play in the Sheffield Shield. We have an awful first class competition which won't help at all!!

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (August 20, 2013, 10:18 GMT)

My opinion is contrary to What Dravid believes. ODI is the real form of cricket where every abilities of batsman and bowlers are 'really' tested. Those who had suceess in ODI's are 'quality' cricketters, bcz when wickets fell early, (ODI) batsman Should steady (in early and middle overs) and accelerate the innings (during final overs). Like that, While defending low scores bowlers have to pick early wickets. This need more quality strokes and innovations, techniques than 'test match'. But the phrases like 'test cricket' is soul, pure, real and test cricketters are real players overphrased and these phrases are used by players who failed or incapable to dominate and adapt in ODI's. Cook is one example and he never dominated in ODI's as batsman and Steyn, not a much success in ODI.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

Most impressive input from Mr Dravid and I must say, I am not surprised.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (August 20, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

It will be better to arrange a 4 day test cricket for BD, ZIM, IRL and AFG. May be NL and WI can play few matches against them too.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

Dravid you are wasting your breath. The various boards around the world and the ICC don't care about cricket, they care about money only! We have a rubbish calendar full of rot!

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

Great insight from "The Wall" here, and fairly pragmatic too. I think New Zealand is a great example of a test team struggling due to a lacklustre first class competition. The first class game here isn't as well resourced as in other countries and the test team clearly struggles. Added to that is the fact that NZ doesn't have regular test series scheduled. I think this is true for West Indies and Bangladesh too - if what Rahul proposes comes to pass then I think even New Zealand could start winning some tests in a few years.

Posted by baskar_guha on (August 20, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

Why arent guys like Rahul Dravid running the ICC.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

Well done Rahul Sir, You clearly specify the need of Test Cricket. Of Course, it's a demand to preserve and nursing this Format. It is required to all young cricketers to understand the basics of game. Test Cricket & First Class cricket is an institute where they can learn the fundamentals of Game. You are True Cricketer who thinks about the Game.

Posted by EnglishCricket on (August 20, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

Some people are funny saying Test Cricket is dead. Just look at this current Ashes series and although its 3-0 to England, at least 3 of those 4 matches thus far have been epic and had some factors been in Australia's favour i.e. no rain, the scoreline would've been even. The last test match at Chester Durham was the best till date. I don't at all think Test Cricket is dead, I think 5 days is a bit too much and most fans just don't have time to watch 5 days of Test Cricket. Had Test Cricket been 4 days with maximum a 100 overs then not only it will be more interesting and bit short but weaker teams even the likes of Bangladesh would've been drawing more frequently than not. Apart from the big 4, I don't think the others have the capabilities to last 5 days playing good Cricket and that's one of the major issues. Its sad Test Cricket may have very few strong teams but these things can easily be rectified without doubt but are the boards of those countries willing to?

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

Rahul Dravid is absolutely right it also shows how good student of game he really is.People who really love the game will always prefer test cricket as its more challenging involves a better skill-set.Inclusion of countries into developed countries will lead to more competitiveness into the game.Also the fact that if T20 cricket should be included in such a way that it does not add to already busy schedule of teams.I seriously do believe despite popularity of T20 & also One Dayer's they can hardly be replacement for the classy test cricket.AT the end its competition between bat & ball not individuals.So cricket needs to innovate the right way not the wrong way that serves commercial interests of cricketers,boards & corporate entities.

Posted by Longhairrocks on (August 20, 2013, 7:34 GMT)

Wise words from one of the true greats. I am glad these words came from Dravid, for if they had come from, for example, Andrew Strauss or Steve Waugh, the wisdom of the message would have been lost in a storm of accusation but colonial attitudes from the white man...

Test cricket is the true form and the yardstick by which all is measured.

Posted by sportofpain on (August 20, 2013, 7:25 GMT)

I like Dravid and enjoy test cricket quite a bit but the fact is that no sport should last for 5 long days. That is a relic of the past. T20 is exciting and fun and the skills developed for T20 will be relevant for T20. To say that someone who is good at test cricket will be good at T20 largely misses the point - if there was only T20 then folks would work really hard to get good at T20 and we'd see even more innovations. Also consider that growing up in India and playing in the club system in Chennai, ALL our games just lasted one day - either Saturday or Sunday. So to say that at an early age kids are not being exposed to long form cricket is wrong. Kids never play long form cricket TILL they get selected for their state team (and most never get to that level). Net although I like test cricket and admire Dravid, I think the 5 day game is dead. Let's refine the T20 skliis and see if someone can score 720 runs in a T20 innings - 120 deliveries all hit for 6. Much to aim for just there!

Posted by Paddy789 on (August 20, 2013, 7:19 GMT)

Only a true Test Cricketer can understand the value of Test Cricket, who in the world can think of merging a weak nation in the domestic circuit, a very possible thing to do, but the concern is that the stronger nation would agree to this ? He should really be part of ICC Development projects coz he and people like him can only save the Test Cricket!!!

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

Putting a ceiling on the shorter versions of the game would do a world of good for test cricket.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

Well said Rahul! Indeed the domestic cricket appearances of troubled nations & aspiring nations will help their cricket immensely which means broadening the Cricket culture. I would add Afganistan, USA, Ireland, Kenya, Singapore also to those to be added to first class cricket of some major cricketing nation. This will not only benefit the game go beyond boundary, but also add value in case some of the first class matches are shifted to the associate or lesser known cricketing nations. It will be a win- win situation for both the parties involved as the major cricketing nations would have a bench comprising of players who have played in different conditions.

- Ritesh

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

Excellent Lord Dravid. Some of them who have not given ideas for development would do politics now.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

Well said Dravid. It is time that other eminent and influential cricketers too joined him in putting pressure on the concerned authorities to implement what he is saying. The likes of Lara, Tendulkar, Waugh, Warne, etc should sit down and tell administrators what needs to be done.

Posted by veerakannadiga on (August 20, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

as always, the great man words it nicely, no fuss, no tall claims, just plain logic & reasoning.wish there were more people like him on planet earth, even better, wish he was still are the best Rahul. I (like many others) salute you. God Bless You. from a loyal Dravid fan.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

Totally agree. Test cricket is the real game.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

I am not sure that all these formats can exist together, we need to increase the no. of t-20 international matches. Why to restrict t-20 to ipl or any other league. Every country need to maintain a balance between these three ( 20 T20 + 20 odi & 10 test matches) this is the min every cricket board should maintain.

Posted by Cricdew on (August 20, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

@Sinhaya.........Agreed 100%

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (August 20, 2013, 5:24 GMT)

Excellently said Mr Dravid. My favourite Indian batsman, followed closely by VVS. I hope Rahul gets a job in the ICC so can talk some sense into these guys. The upcoming India VS SA tour we have 7 ODI games!!! But only 3 test matches. Why couldnt it have been a 5 match series....

Posted by SHIVA19 on (August 20, 2013, 5:14 GMT)

Test cricket is a classic.. there is no matcth to it..,Literally a war with bouncers.. strategies mindgames..reverseswings.. counterattacks..,a testing place of talent character.. and years of hardwork,foremost thing to make test cricket to prosper is increase the pay to test players which will drive young players to it..,and icc must support and arrange more tours to developing cricket nations which make the scenario to emerge new quality test playing nations which will make test cricket even more competetive..,Test cricket will be only remembered in hearts of fans forever.. Perfect example ashes 2009 where england have won ashes after dat in odi aus thrashed england wit 6-1 which no one cares remembers of it.. That is Test Cricket..

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 4:44 GMT)

Spot on Mr Dravid! It is time the cricketing administrations got their act together instead of indulging in "drama". The present generation of cricketers find themselves at a cricketing crossroads. Much depends on what transpires in the next decade with test cricket.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 4:44 GMT)

Dravid is calling for more Tests between more countries and more fixed schedules. How far is this realistic?

Is it possible to compare how many days (and hours) the top ten cricketers play in a year v how many days (and hours) the top ten football players (like the Messis, Ronaldos and Rooneys) play - assuming no injury lay offs?

Having these numbers will help us engage in a realistic debate that Dravid hopes his speech would spark off.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 4:40 GMT)

Being the Man So responsibloe He expect something like this from him......Definite IDOl for genrators to come ................u R so missed at the crease Rahul..................the point of geting weaker teams aboard for domestic season's should do wonders for Test Matches..............

Posted by athem79 on (August 20, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

Mr. Wall at his best. Even his speech is like his cover drive. . . very simple but is making good noise. One of the cricketer who wants to promote the game.

His idea of Bangladesh playing against India's domestic team is simply phenomenal. But implementing such idea by giving such speeches wont work. Hence, he should think of taking a senior position within #ICC as that is the only place where he can implement such strategies.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

This speech by Dravid has everything current administrators lack: vision, ideas, pragmatism. Honestly, I can't wait for the day the ICC is run by Dravid, Kumble, Waugh, etc., The age of compromising at the altar of TV needs to stop.

Posted by Sinhaya on (August 20, 2013, 4:15 GMT)

I fully endorse this speech by Dravid my favorite Indian cricketer. No doubt that test cricket is the best form of cricket because on a player's point of view, the 2 innings factor is what is the real test all about. Test cricket ultimately grinds and tests the endurance, concentration and temperament of a player and no doubt Dravid was the best ever in all of this criteria. Best way to reduce the gap between test playing nations is to ensure that sub continent pace bowlers get to play in the Aussie domestic circuit. Also, Aussie and NZ spinners must be given the chance to play in the domestic season of the sub continent. Even batsmen too must be given the same opportunity. Minimizing the gap between test playing nations will make tests exciting as an exciting test match like the 2 tied tests in history are more exciting than any ODI or T20. ICC must also put a rule that test playing nations must play a minimum of 10 tests in a calender year so that boards like SL cannot scrap tests.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (August 20, 2013, 4:11 GMT)

The Trunk of the tree vs the Branches and the Fruits. The perfect analogy to describe Tests and T20s and not the stupid examples of Bhimsen Joshi vs Sonu Nigam and Satyajit Ray vs Rohit Shetty that some expert commentators with an intention to destroy Test cricket have used on these same Cricinfo pages. Wonderful speech Rahul. You keep on growing in our esteem.

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (August 20, 2013, 3:59 GMT)

Well Said Dravid. Great to hear his words of wisdom. A very intelligent view on the game of cricket in this present time. I agree totally with Rahul Dravid.

Posted by skilebow on (August 20, 2013, 3:23 GMT)

@ Ajay Ghosh Chalasani - Unfortunately I fear he is far too intelligent and morally decent to ever get a position at the ICC.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 3:11 GMT)

Rahul Dravid has been one of the leading Ambassador of the Gentleman's Game...Cricket...Whatever format it may be - T20, ODI or Test Cricket, he has played it all and has shown positive attitude towards all formats for the upbringing of the Game..He needs to be enrolled as active member of the ICC Core Committee Team !!

Posted by NamburiRaj on (August 20, 2013, 3:04 GMT)

Brilliant from Rahul Dravid. I like how he cares for the struggling test nations to be involved in India's, England etc first class system. Just look at the Irish cricketers where they play in English domestic structure and are succeeding through all levels. Test Cricket if course has its place and has the certain capabilities to survive for several decades but if weaker teams like Dravid suggests are not helped then really only the big 4 in the current test rankings will only be playing the real game and the rest will just turn their eyes to the money making 50 and 20 over games.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (August 20, 2013, 2:47 GMT)

Great suggestions from Dravid! I agree with the FC suggestion of inviting smaller countries into the FC system. England have done so for Ireland and we are seeing a rapid development in Ireland's performances.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 2:42 GMT)

So many rule changes are brought in ODIs but why not in tests? With 450 overs at our disposal we can have a max 135 overs first inns per team and 90 ov for second inns. This will ensure more result oriented approach to tests.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 2:42 GMT)

Superb thoughts. Rahul Dravid was admirable as cricketer for his on field and off field behavior. Now this guy seems to have more ideas and cricketing contributions left in him even after retirement. On a busy work day , reading this article was so refreshing . Nothing is impractical or senseless . I hope that some person in ICC and BCCI, forgets their ego and takes a serious note of his thoughts.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 2:00 GMT)

very well said dravid. Even in australia more people would watch test matches in MCG or SCG (infact opening day crowds reach about 70000) than they watch ODI's or T20(crowds max 50-60000, generally about 30000). I am not too sure about other grounds. but the only reason grounds like gabba, adelaide oval or perth have relatively small capacity in cricket matches is because of very small population in these regions. But all of my aussie friends who follow cricket prefer tests over ODI or T20. Plus look at last 20 years - hardly any good test batsman do poorly in ODI or T20. But so many very good ODI players struggled in Tests like Raina, Yuvraj, Nick Knight, even kholi barely averages 40 in Tests, Dhoni everytime goes to SA, Australia or England does well in ODI's but poorly in tests, watson, to a certain extent umar akmal (as he is only in his early days). This is also true for bowlers like ashwin, malinga, akhthar initially struggled for consistency in tests but was acing the ODI's.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 1:54 GMT)

Test cricket is boring, true story.

Posted by Biggus on (August 20, 2013, 1:44 GMT)

It is fitting that the bearer of this message is Indian, given that the great bulk of test naysayers seem to also be Indian. Time and again we are assured on these pages by brash young Indians that test cricket is boring and will have died within five years, so it seems only fitting that Dravid has come out and said this. Were this message to come from an Englishmen or an Australian those naysayers would dismiss it as colonial rubbish from the white boys club. At least coming from an acknowleged Indian test great some may listen. T20 has been blamed for a great many ills, mostly undeserved, but the greatest down side to T20 is that it has brought a great many 'cricket fans' to the game who have no patience for anything that lasts more than 3 hours, no respect for the history of the game, no understanding of the beauties of the longer game etc. Cricket has been flooded with people who don't really like cricket very much unless it dresses up as baseball.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 1:34 GMT)

rahul dravid - best test captain India had. Perhaps the best cricketer in India, and the best against quality swing bowling.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 1:11 GMT)

everybody cannot play test cricket! and every wise head cannot be in bcci! I would rather have Rahul in icc and bring some universal changes to cricket structures across all nations!! thank you

Posted by sudhir98 on (August 20, 2013, 1:08 GMT)

No one has time for 5 day tests unless day night games are introduced. India for Bangladesh, South Africa for Zimbabwe, England for West Indies, Australia for New Zealand. I wonder how folks from these countries are thinking about these suggestions. A better idea would be for these countries to play more with each other a lot. Or a second tier for major country A teams and minor countries created. Tests have to die out completely or the game is going to be finished. I use to watch every game fanatically now it's been 7 years since I watched a test from start to finish.

Posted by bjornmia on (August 20, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

Very wise words. Absolutely correct that 'By using those well-trained powers of adaptability, discipline, resilience and focus as a T20 cricketer, you will have double the advantage than the player possessed only of talent and timing.' Players who hone their test skills will be excellent short form cricketers too. And test cricket offers so much to spectators even if they only manage to follow at a remove for part of the match. But I saw this apposite quote on Twitter during a recent Ashes match 'Any time spent watching test cricket does not come off your life'.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 0:46 GMT)

The way ahead was to put aside short-term profit and work collaboratively, he contended, since "we are a very small community and we can't afford to lose the members of our family".

Posted by GenuineNumber11 on (August 20, 2013, 0:38 GMT)

Australia could actually really benefit from having a couple of first class sides from NZ in the Sheffield Shield, so the benefits of this scheme would not all lie with the minnows.

Posted by Timmuh on (August 20, 2013, 0:33 GMT)

I find it hard to disagree with the bulk of what Dravid is saying here. Crcket is built from the long form. While there is room for argument around some detail, this looks a solid starting point - that no administrator will ever look at. Also, it would appear that India is in a better situation than Australia regarding the youth set-up. India apparently has a generation before T20 overtakes its youth stem and stops producing cricketers. The Australian system already caters exclusively to T20 styled cricket, with the concepts both of building an innings and having a defence actively discouraged through rules in many states requiring batsmen to retire after very few deliveries.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 0:20 GMT)

Rahul Dravid: a man of more substance than most. One would be wise to listen to him. I've seen comparatively little of him outside the cricket pitches but nonetheless I know him as someone who speaks extremely well and knows what he's talking about.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (August 19, 2013, 23:56 GMT)

I have always been a vocal opponent of test cricket on these forums. However, I do respect Rahul Dravid - the cricketer, and his contributions to Indian cricket and the sport in general. However, nothing can stop the demise of test cricket in the next decade. The reason being, there are way too many meaningless test matches played around the world. The ICC test ranking is a joke to begin with. Then we have the highly one sided affair of home teams gaining an advantage over visiting ones. Also, 5 days is too much for viewing a game of cricket. I am okay with 3 or 4 day games. Also, PLEASE restrict test cricket to MARQUEE rivalries: Ashes, India-Pakistan, India-Australia etc. The rest need to play in a tiered league to compete with the top 3 test nations. Only then test cricket will have any relevance. Already, much of the world have embraced T20 cricket which is easily the best form of cricket. ODIs will continue to remain as long as the world cup is there.

Posted by Patchmaster on (August 19, 2013, 23:56 GMT)

He speaks so much sense. What is so sad though, is the BCCI's determination to grind down test cricket into the poorer brother of T20. Test cricket always is and always will be the finest form of cricket. Indian fans have recently preferred T20, because the have it rammed down their throat by he BCCI. What a shame. Test cricket will far outlive T20 though. Thankfully.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 22:57 GMT)

How the test cricket can be saved when only four countries play series of 3 or more test. The remaining end up playing minimum two or max Three. All countries shd play equal no: of tests each calendar year.

Posted by durhamd on (August 19, 2013, 22:40 GMT)

I'd love if it Rahul were to become a more regular contributor to Cricinfo, another fantastic article.

Posted by Nerk on (August 19, 2013, 22:27 GMT)

Test matches are the standard by which the game is measured. We would never had the brilliance of Bradman, Tendulkar or Dravid without them. To those who comment that tests will be dead in 5-10 years, seriously, get a new catchphrase. It's getting boring. The Ashes has sell out crowds, the SA-Australia series last year had sell out crowds. NZ have indicated they want more test matches, Ireland want to get test status. If you guys in Sri lanka and Bangladesh don't want to play, fine, we'll give Ireland and Afghanistan status and watch them thrive. Maybe tests don't fill the stands like they used to, but the tv dollars are huge and test series always fill out the comment sections on Cricinfo, unlike 20/20, which outside of the IPL no-one gives a stuff. Keep your Maxwell's and your Sharma's and I'll keep Bradman and Dravid.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (August 19, 2013, 22:06 GMT)

Rahul Dravid speaks more sense than most others put together.

Can anyone seriously imagine a 3 hole golf tournament ? Maybe tie-breaks as matches to get through a tennis tournament in an afternoon ? How about a 3 hour Cycle tour ? A one day duration World Cup or Olympics ? The possibilities are endless.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (August 19, 2013, 21:59 GMT)

Day nigh tests Pinks balls and such isn't saving Test cricket it is just making a new game just as all the other regulations and introduction of Helmets has already done. Test cricket today is already a completely different game than it was 20/30 yrs ago not sure how more regulations day/night and pinks balls is saving it ? It's just again creating something entirely new and different. If you want to save Test cricket we'd get back to "Test" cricket and that means getting rid of the helemts extra padding and number of bouncers to even up the contest between bat and ball and make things more entertaining again the game lacks adrenaline and a real "Test" and that is the main reason it's dying.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 21:55 GMT)

Like TEAM INDIA losing its legends these LEGENDS need to properly involved in BCCI...Kumble and Dravid need to be fast tracked into Senior Roles of the BCCI

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 21:47 GMT)

It makes sense when Dravid speaks but, in reality, the greed of other cricket boards will take precedence over their Test teams with the dollar signs in their eyes. That is all that matters to them, not top quality Test teams. It will never happen, there is too much avarice in the world, look at those T20 domestic competitions popping out of the woodwork recruiting well established cricketers with filthy money, how can they refuse? ICC, TAKE NOTE OF THIS AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW, NOT IN 5 YEARS TIME AS THE DAMAGE WIL BE IRREVERSIBLE!!

Posted by MinusZero on (August 19, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

Well said. Get rid of T20. Its just a money making exercise and does not help player skills for the long game.

Posted by IainWadey on (August 19, 2013, 21:19 GMT)

Rahul Dravid you are a living legend beyond your exploits on the field. I hope and pray that the pleasure of watching the beautiful narrative of test cricket doesn't die out in our fast food culture much like reading an excellent novel; a casual glance will not do! If you love test cricket you must take it upon yourself to persuade and introduce your family/friends to the truely beautiful game! I would also love to see other nations, e.g. Ireland, Afganistan where roots have started to grow encouraged and let into the private members club asap. Long live test cricket!

Posted by CENZO67 on (August 19, 2013, 21:10 GMT)

Magnificent cricketer, always seemed like a really good guy and talks a lot of sense. So no one in the ICC will take any notice.

Posted by HawK89 on (August 19, 2013, 21:07 GMT)

A gentlemen of cricket and a well respected player around the world, I hope he gets the support he needs.

Posted by gsingh7 on (August 19, 2013, 20:23 GMT)

well said by " THE WALL". BUT sorry to say, test cricket is on its last leg and eventually more commercially viable options like t20 and odis gonna survive as people dont have enough time to watch one sided tests lingering on for 4 or 5 days and then some gets drawn due to rains and stuff.t20 are perfect for 3 hour action packed drama at the end of hard day's work.only older gen have enough spare time to watch 5 days of continuous cricket. one serous question, why people like dravid and botham not on icc administrative committee??

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

I totally agree that test cricket is a form that tests competence and skill for cricketers. I am not so sure though that test cricket will see a turn around in popularity and am pretty sure it will not ever rival shorter formats of the game in T20, 1DAY and SIXES.

While I have been nurtured and bred on test cricket and still do love the game its existence is contingent upon what fans wish to see, what gets them excited and so forth. Test cricket cannot provide that.

In recent years in the Caribbean we are only now seeing a large number of cricket fans that are young, women and even some older people who never ever been to a test. It is signalling a shift in paradigm for sport and entertainment of which we cannot ignore. Beat me up all you want but players are equally tired of boring and tired crowds for 5 straight days plus in this economically driven world many people in my part of the world have little to no opportunity to attend test cricket. The fans hold the power now.

Posted by Nampally on (August 19, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

Hopefully the BCCI & the Indian squad Selectors heed Dravid's sincere plea for a dedicated team for Tests.This is possible by having a separate dedicated sub-committee in BCCI, for Tests. IPL is providing livelihood for many upcoming youngsters in India. They will risk anything to play T20 style of Cricket. Dedicated Potential Test Cricketers with correct technique & footwork should be developed, named & pulled out of IPL, if needed. England does this routinely. There are some Cricketers who were denied their chances to play ODI's- under the pretext of " Tests only" classification. In such cases "the Test only players" should be paid additional compensation for their exclusion from the ODI's. Pujara & Vijay Zol are 2 good examples of batsmen amongst the 2 age groups. Deserving "specialist spinners" must play in the Test XI - bowling all rounders have been preferred during past 3 years. Unless such choices are made, Test Cricket will soon become Obsolete! Dravid's warning is Real!

Posted by luks on (August 19, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

I don't think it is necessarily a good idea to pay more for Test cricket, if it isn't bring in commensurate revenues. We should just think about Test cricket and T20 as different sports. And, maybe Test cricket will persist with lower pays and lower audiences like hockey or football. I'm sure there will still be people who would want to play it, so it won't die not matter how less the pay is. And, we'll get only the most dedicated players show up for that format. And, maybe, many T20 playes won't ever play Tests. That should be perfectly fine. Just think of them as different sports with no overlap.

Posted by Viratkohlirocks on (August 19, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

I would expect someone like Dravid to say something like this. But agrresive players like Gayle and Gilchrist dont care if the test format is gone. I live in America, and the age of 11, for my cricket club, we don't even play t0 cricket. We play 30 over cricket, so even kids in america dont play t20, why should international players do?

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 19:45 GMT)

Makes sense to me. Test cricket isn't dying, it is still the pinnacle and will always be. I believe it is the ultimate, to test your skills. T20 will not last as long as test cricket (we will see how It is in 140 yrs time). Introducing a NZ team into Australian domestic cricket makes sense, there is one in a few sports and has improved that sport in NZ.

Posted by anilkp on (August 19, 2013, 19:34 GMT)

Test cricket as the trunk and the shorter formats as branches! Wow! What a beautiful, wonderful, and magnificently powerful analogy! Cricket could not be explained better!

I truly appreciate and endorse the proposal that weaker/associate teams should become part of the domestic infrastructure of the giants. I had long ago proposed this in a comment on these pages. India, England, Australia and S Africa have strong and economically thriving first-class infrastructure. If each offer to host two weak/associate teams, them imagine what will be the health of cricket globally in a decade! First, however, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe must lose their Test status, enter domestic set-up in England/India/Aus/SAf for a few years, prove their improvememt, and them regain their Test status. Them plus Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland, Kenya, Netherlands and another associate (Canada?) should be offered such benevolence towards the global betterment of the game.

Posted by t.feroze on (August 19, 2013, 19:29 GMT)

India for Bangladesh, South Africa for Zimbabwe, England for West Indies, Australia for New Zealand And Pakistan for Pakistan hahahaha he will for sure get a role in ICC

Posted by Kido123 on (August 19, 2013, 19:27 GMT)

As always very rightly put by Dravid ... are we not seeing already?? how difficult it is for the so called T20 specialists like Thisra perera,Yuvraj,Raina,Maxwell,Doherty,Shaun Tait,Gayle and so on find difficult for the longer format.let alone the 5 dayers few cannot sustain 50 over game.. but look at the likes of Michael Hussey,Ricky Ponting, likes of Shnae warne , Tendulkar,Mularlitharan, Dravid himself in IPL and CPL have proved their adaptability to T20 and more over consistent in getting their team over the line every time they play.shorter versions are Desserts ,in order to get there one has to go thru the main course first...

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 19:21 GMT)

Well said Mr. Dravid.. ICC should think in those directions.. Test playing nations should increase..As years pass by Test playing nations are sinking..I also believe that playing more tests will produce better players for the future..ICC should give a thought about it..

Posted by cricraz on (August 19, 2013, 19:19 GMT)

Dravid is a fine gentleman but his love of test cricket is not shared by the paying public. The younger generation does not have the time or inclination to appreciate test cricket. It will not draw crowds or TV audience like T20. Change is essential to survival. The reason players, administrators are being well paid is because the public wants to enjoy the shorter version of the game. Sport is an entertainment business and if you dont change, the public will drift to different entertainment.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 19:09 GMT)

A man with vision... and passion for the game.. hope soon he hold a key position in BCCI or ICC and implement these suggestions.. test cricket has to be saved its the ultimate.. for that it has to be made competent and players have to be skillful.. there is no more pleasure for a true cricket lover than watching an exciting test match which goes to the wire...

Posted by Edassery on (August 19, 2013, 18:59 GMT)

Unfortunately test cricket has to die its natural death sometime in the next five or ten years. I used to be a majort test cricket fan (and still an ardent Dravid fan) but in today's fast world, I believe, there's no room for such sports that waste human resource (i.e. crores or fans) for five long days - especially for a developing economies like India. Even ODIs may come down in numbers over the years, I believe. There's no other sports in the world where people play so many hours per game or match.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 18:53 GMT)

This reasoned and well thought out plan should be seriously considered

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 18:53 GMT)

Hope Dravid soon gets to spearhead the ICC He has a wise mind and a good heart sitting on a huge acumen of knowledge and experience To top that all he is articulate.Great fountainhead to draw from

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 18:50 GMT)

Dravid consistently speaks so much sense, he is such a champion and pillar of the great game. However he is in the minority, he isn't in the millions filling up the stands in T20 leagues around the world.. Money talks at the end of the day, and we have already seen Sri Lanka pretty much imply they aren't very interested in continuing to play test cricket. Zimbabwe won't have any players left, and New Zealand and the West Indies cling on for dear life, playing the odd test now and again.

I give it 15 years, and the only test cricket will be a one off marquee test match between England and Australia.. The Ashes.. Look at women's cricket? That is already the case there.. It's a bleak vision of the future of the men's game..

Posted by Sarfin on (August 19, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

How can you do that? Every time you speak, my respect for you grows beyond measure. I'm fan of yours since 1999. But still you surprise me. You were a grammar book of batting, now you are becoming the most logical voice in cricket community.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 18:45 GMT)

Time and again Rahul Dravid has proved that his greatness extends beyond the cricket field. By championing the cause of Test cricket, he has sent a timely reminder to the Administrators to introduce radical reforms to revive not only Test cricket but to further bridge the gap between dominant test teams and less sourced countries.

Posted by Nampally on (August 19, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

I endorse Dravid's Simili of comparing the Test Cricket to the Tree trunk & shorter format to the tree branches. However the BCCI seems to be at a loss to separate the 3 formats by first having 3 dedicated Captains. By having the same captain for all 3 formats, there is no dedicated effort in different approach needed of each format. This has resulted in the fast bowlers hitting the deck with short pitched stuff instead of focussing on basics- length, direction & accuracy. The short formats have totally deprived in development of RH wrist leg spinners for which India was #1. Leg spinners like Rahul, Chawla & Mishra have been glorifying the bench rather than the field in Test Cricket. The same goes for the opening bats - poking at balls outside the off stump. In rest of the batting, absence of correct footwork, defence & discipline was evident in the England & the Aussie Tours. The Selectors during last 12 months have realised it & seem to address it. Like to see them go all the way!

Posted by Rahulbose on (August 19, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

All good ideas, unfortunately will fall on deaf ears. Apart from Eng no other nation currently puts test cricket as the top priority. Business wise T20 and ODI are more profitable both for the organizers and players. In another 5-10 years Ashes might be the only test series being played.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

I'm sorry to say, Test cricket will die. People are running out of patience with boring one-sided games dragged on for 5 days and sometimes only to be determined by the weather. Yes once in a while a test match will be memorable, but the odds that it will be a waste of time is getting greater. I say revamp test cricket into a 20-20 style where batsmen will have to play aggressive cricket.

Posted by ajfear on (August 19, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

Great words from a great man. He should be running the ICC.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

He is a great brain...well said...i really like the idea of first class teams from lesser strong teams to come and play in stronger 1st class tournaments...!!!!

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 18:17 GMT)

Beautifully said by The Wall !! Test Cricket resembles the trunk & ODIs, T20s it branches. Latter ones get the limelight due to the fruits they bear, source is always forgotten.

This is enough to say TEST IS BEST ! What say, friends? :)

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (August 19, 2013, 18:06 GMT)

Some very interesting points by Rahul, I think the biggest concern with Day/Night tests isnt about the ball, its about the effect of Dew and moisture in the air which could cause problems.

I would advocate keeping the Accountants out of the Game or at least at as much arms length as possible as they really only care about the Balance sheet and PL.

In regard to getting lower ranked teams into another countries FC system its a worth goal, but I would suggest that if a country is making a claim for Test status that is what should happen, such as Ireland playing in the CC2 for a season so they can be judged in relative terms, or play A-teams from existing test nations to see how they fair.

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