2000 Tests July 20, 2011

Dhoni bullish on 2000 more Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff

The world is changing but there's no reason Test cricket won't survive another 2000 matches, India's captain MS Dhoni has said. Dhoni was speaking on the eve of the Lord's Test between England and India, which has the distinction of being the 2000th Test, as well as the 100th between the countries and the first of what is expected to be a closely fought series.

The milestone comes at a time when Test cricket is under threat from the shorter forms of the game - Twenty20, the newest format, and the revival in popularity of the ODI following the World Cup earlier this year. Asked whether he thought Test cricket would survive another 2000 matches, Dhoni offered a nuanced response. "What's important is to see where it's going and there's no reason why we should doubt it because wherever I've gone I've seen a good response on the field. Of course you'll have games where there won't be a full house compared to some of the ODIs or the T20 format but yes, people are still following Test cricket."

The challenge, as he pointed out, also comes from the changes in contemporary lifestyles. "The world has changed. It means you have to go to your job, with the privatisation and everything that is happening, the bosses want you to spend more time at your desk and look less at the television so all of these things play a big role in it. But there's no good reason why Test cricket can't survive or won't survive for the next 2000 games."

The figure lent an already-special match an extra sheen, he said. "You can look at the number and feel good about it, because 2000 is a big number which means the game has survived for a long time, and 100 between India and England means we have a long-term relation with the English side. It's a special game - playing at Lord's is always special - but overall, rather than thinking too much about the numbers, we can just look at the number and be proud. You can't play 100 games against one nation but when you have left cricket you can look back and say you played in the 100th Test between India and England, and 2000 when it comes to the history. We can be proud we are playing but at the same time we need to stick to the basics and enjoy the game."

His counterpart Andrew Strauss, while appreciating the occasion, spoke of the importance of the bottom-line. "It helps in hyping up the series, although I don't think this series needs any hyping because India versus England is two very good sides with some high quality players. The recipe is there for it to be a very entertaining series. The wider context is not something we are focusing on. In any Test series every side is hoping to get a fast start, get ahead and then earn the right over four Tests to win the series. All that other stuff is not for us to concentrate on and will look after itself."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Steve on July 23, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    I have to disagree with Dhoni. Test cricket in its current format and schedule is a dying format. There can be no ifs and buts about it. Fans will need a format where a result is guaranteed at the end of every single match. Fans won't accept a draw anymore, not after 5 days testing play.

  • Jakir on July 23, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    Test match is about only to listen and watch highlights rather than watching every ball of test match and gets bored. if the pitch conditions are bowling side then must watch the genuine bowlers bowling like zaheer, jimmy, tremlett, swann, ishant. and it was very entertaining while the ball swinging and batsmen are facing disco music.

  • AARON HUSSEIN on July 23, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    If there will be too much tests in every national team tour, test cricket will die soon due to lack of finance. Professional cricketers need to play more cricket for their local team and earn as much money as they can, and less play for their national team, which is burden for the national board and the ICC. 1-2 tests, 2-3 ODi & 1-2 T20i cricket enough for every national team tour, and to save the cricketers, tour should not be prolonged more than 1 month. Cricket should be more professional in clubs' and leagues' levels - the formats are not so important.

  • Hari on July 22, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    Excuse me...am sick of the "facing threats from T20 and ODI"... nothing can stand the true nature of cricket that is TEST cricket...

  • G on July 22, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Result wickets. When the balance is found, there is no finer game

  • Pradeep on July 22, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    Test cricket is going to die soon, if u guys play the way u did against windies 3rd test. Test cricket always throws up a situation where u have to take some risk to win. By the playing safe way, we r sure that if India wins 1st test or 2nd test they are not going to play for win in the remainnig matches, that way test cricket is going to loose interest.

    Test Cricket has survived the last decade because Australia and South Africa play for win. So opposition has to be on their toes if they dont want to loose. Not sure spectators will have interests to see a dull batting performance against insipid bowling

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    Yes you are right Dhoni, as long as India plays cricket any format of this game will survive. You guyz keep rocking. All the best for the current series.

  • Varun on July 22, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    All cheers for test cricket..... May it longer, longer & longer. I love this game &especially this format. When somebody says Test Cricket has lost spectators... I dont agree. When people were coming to ground to see cricket ,it wud be interesting to know how far the broadcast went in those days. Today all the world can watch it on TV with diff. camera angle analysis ,expert comentary at home. So the love for the game as a whole has not declined its just the no of audience at grond, reasons are obviously understandable. Player & nobody sud think it as the end of the world test cricket. Test cricket will be there for ever all LARAs,SRTs,GAVASKAR,LOIYD,BOTHAMs and many other unnamed will come and go by. HAPPY WATCHING,HAPPY PLAYING AND HAPPY TALKING ABOUT TEST CRICKET.

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    Test Cricket is the test of your cricketing skills. For all those persons (especially youngsters) who wanted to be a professional cricketer must see and follow the techniques practiced by the FORMER PLAYERS. Then only you can be a true cricket player. Don't get impressed by hard hitters and quickies, concentrate on earning patience and absorbency of pressure in the cricketing dōjō. I believe no one can stop you of becoming a cricketing LEGEND. Test Cricket is the BEST.

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2011, 4:59 GMT

    I lok! ,, from Bangalore ..Dhoni is not having that much experience to talk about tests. Cricket is having a special look because of test matches only.But today some test pitches not having full capacity to give the result & also matches are scheduling without considering the season/whether , this are the main reason for less ratings of tests and also became a little bore. It's true !! Using technology is the best solution for this problem. Make pitch for result not for entertainment & schedule the matches if climate/whether is suitable for test matches.. ODI & T-20 is not having whether problem & also there must one result so they are going good . The growing of the T-20 is one of the main reason for test matches less ratings . The lifestyle of the present generation is not affect the test matches. The thinking of Dhoni is not good i think. It's better keeping quit on unknown things..

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