South Africa in India 2009-10 December 11, 2009

India ask South Africa to play two Tests

Ken Borland
116

Widespread fears over the future of Test cricket have been partly assuaged by the news that the BCCI has asked South Africa to play two Tests in India during their tour early next year, dropping two one-day internationals from the schedule to make space for the five-day matches.

India's change of mind - the tour was just going to comprise seven ODIs before being cut to five - came about after they ascended to the ICC's No. 1 ranking in Tests for the first time. Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola confirmed the request and said they were now trying to make space for the Tests, which would lengthen the tour by a week.

"They [India] have requested we play two Tests and three ODIs and we are still considering it," Majola said. "We still have to consult with the South African Cricketers' Association, the team management, our playing regulations and fixtures committees, as well as the board. It would extend the tour by another week, but we would like to accommodate them and I don't foresee a problem with it."

The dramatic about-turn came only four days after Majola was forced to issue a statement saying the Tests in India had merely been postponed, after a storm of criticism in South Africa that the No. 1 and 2 sides in the premier version of the game would not meet in that format.

It is believed CSA is calling on the sponsors of their Twenty20 domestic competition - the Standard Bank Pro20 - to agree to a postponement of their semi-finals and final by a week in order to accommodate the Tests in India and ensure the country's top players are back for the knockout stages of the Pro20.

The first round of Standard Bank Pro20 semi-finals are due to start on February 24, with the second round beginning on March 3 and the final on March 12. Those dates would all need to be shifted back by at least a week now, meaning the last two rounds of the four-day Supersport Series would have to be moved into April.

The two teams that advance to the Standard Bank Pro20 final land themselves a lucrative place in the Champions League Twenty20, so the franchises are understandably eager for their best players to be available.

India's newly-acquired position atop the Test rankings was under threat because they were only scheduled to play two Tests in the next 11 months, which explains its sudden interest in playing more Tests. Cricket South Africa has invariably tried to ensure they don't land on the wrong side of the BCCI, so it is likely India will get its wish and Test cricket will have a stellar showdown to look forward to.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SatyajitM on December 14, 2009, 14:24 GMT

    Test cricket has been played for 130 years without a refferal system and on average people were ok with it. It's shame to say that Indian won the SL series due to non availability of refferal system, that too when they won both tests by innings. If you look at ongoing WI-Aus series, Gayle is completely unconvinced by the system and Ponting thinks the system is probably still not ready for test cricket. I agree to his suggestion that it should be first used in domestic circuit. Tony Cozier is completely unhappy with and Tony Greig thinks it's a mixed bag and should not involve players in the field. I agree to this line of thinking. We are complicating the game further for the players who should concentrate more on cricketing skills. But UDRS is working like a lottery! It has been introduced in a haste. Let it first mature at domestic level and then have the third umpire have all technology and interfere when he sees a glaring mistake.

  • abhyu23 on December 14, 2009, 2:34 GMT

    @JoeGilly and VGomes, so now India are not allowed to win tosses, not allowed to get any dubious decisions going for them, not allowed to tour SriLanka, West Indies, right? What will you people come up with next, not allowed to bat with a bat or bowl with a ball, why those may be artificially manipulated too to give Indian players unfair advantage! And where were all the shouts about UDRS when most of the bad decisions were going against India at Aus? Why did we not hear you people shouting about UDRS when a leading former WI cricketer observed that most bad decisions tended to favour Australia because they were no. 1? Seriously, Cricinfo should consider 20 times before publishing comments from you two.

  • spiritwithin on December 13, 2009, 16:38 GMT

    @ Vansan

    yes I agree wid u that URDS sud hav been used but both da umpires were neutral so talking about bias by some ppl is very rude...and even australia were da no.1 team without URDS for so many years does it mean they did'nt deserved no.1 status earlier??rules r same for both da teams in a series...and india reached no.1 by winning against various teams even before URDS rules were applied except this Sri Lanka series...

  • SuperSharky on December 13, 2009, 14:37 GMT

    I'm glad India still wants to play some Tests. I hope South Africa will strongly play with and try to keep the Test Game alive. Twenty/20 maybe the spectators best format of the game, but for most of the cricketers, that I know of, luck and unluck play a big role in twenty/20. For some it is more fun than a dual. But they love the money. And when they really wants to concentrate on showing off their cricket talent, patience, endurance and character, they prefer to do it in the 5 day game. I'ts more of a strategy chess game. You,ve got a better chance to create luck in the 5 day game. Competitive cricket series should consist of 3 Test, 3 ODI (mini-tests) and 3 Twenty/20. Rain has always been a enemy factor and you'll just have to except a washed-out series. You could have extra days for the shorter formats of the game. The series should be no longer than 5 weeks. 3 ODI's in 1 week and 3 twenty/20's in 1 week. The rest is a Test a week. This news above is good news!!!

  • SuperSharky on December 13, 2009, 11:04 GMT

    I'm not from the sub-continent and I don't complain about the pitches. I also wants to see some pitches should favour the bowler and some pitches should favour the batsman. There should be a balance. I think watching batting pitches with big scores all the time are a bore. It's sometimes boring. I also wants to see turn in the sub-continent, swing in England, uneven bounce in the West Indies and Fast Green pitches in Australia and South Africa. We wants to see our heroes facing the DANGER on a fast pitch with a helmet and today's guards. Yesterday's heroes didn't had that gear and ended up in hospital. Not nice, but we love it when our heroes face the danger without any complains. We also sigh when Ricky Ponting or Graeme Smith complains about a pitch. We don't understand why, but see it most of the time just as a mental tactic. All the formats change so much so we should have 3 separate rankings for each format, but a Series-Ranking would also be nice.

  • abhyu23 on December 13, 2009, 10:40 GMT

    @pienk-zuit, Why are you forgetting that South africa won the Ahmedabad Test in 2008 on a substandard pitch, where the ball was moving on day 1 like crazy? Credit should go to India for winning on a challenging pitch in the third test to which South Africa did not adjust. By the way, which team was allout for 85 on a "quality" wicket in Jo'burg in 2006?

  • MatYousuf on December 13, 2009, 8:38 GMT

    It's a shame that India is now looking to play tests just to retain their No.1 test ranking spot. This is pretty much evident from the fact that they are are even willing to play a 2 test series by reducing the one day internationals.

    The argument is supported by the fact that this initiative was taken by BCCI just after a week of gaining No.1 test ranking. I strongly feel that ICC should disallow such adjustments to the schedule.

  • Vansan on December 13, 2009, 2:58 GMT

    @ spiritwithin, probably mcroos is wrong? But do BCCI have any hesitation having referal system, if BCCI and INDIA agree referal system and win the series, its really good for INDIAN Cricket, else everyone will come with their opinions, so implement REFERAL as it is i Aus and NZ and prove it you deserve 1 position in Tests. REFERAL SYSTEM is to avoid crucial umpiring errors, better implement it..

  • spiritwithin on December 12, 2009, 22:03 GMT

    some ppl here r talkin about conspiracies regarding india's T20 WC win in 2007 as well as their ascesion to no.1 in test ranking thereby questioning india's integrity...to all those crying babies let me tell u that india reached da no.1 position in da same way as SA and Australia did earlier and did it by performing consistently well against various teams in varying conditions just like SA and australia had done it earlier...in da last two years india beat england(both home and away),new zealand in da away series(no home series),beat australia at home and beat them in perth in a tightly contested series(lost da series 2-1 courtesy bucknor),beat pakistan srilanka & west indies...so if winning is conspiracy than all r part of it...and what d u ppl mean by quality pitches??just like SA and australia hav fast & bouncy pitches similarly subcontinent pitches r slow and spinning wickets and every country prepare wicket according 2 their advantage..so a quality side sud in all conditions

  • spiritwithin on December 12, 2009, 17:45 GMT

    @JoeGilly & V.GOMES..so 4 ppl like u there's conspiracy goin on??thats y india attained no.1 status and also won T20 WC in 2007...does it means other teams like SA australia etc have lost da match intentionally??u mean to say they were also part of da match fixing??for ur kind information india has been winning away test series consitently nowadays(ur still in a dreamland??)..even in australia india is performing well for da last two series..not lost a series to ENG after 1996(home or away),won in NZ,in SA won a test last time but lost da series in a tightly contested series by 2-1..won in pakistan..beat australia 2-0 in 2008...what d u mean by quality pitches??just bcoz u were brought up in fast seaming and bouncy pithes does'nt mean ur pithes r good and spinning pithes r bad..heard about home advantage??sucontinent pithes r tradirionally slow and assist spins..its ur incapability dat u ppl r afraid of spinning wickets..what about mathes finishin inside 3days in SA ENG or aus etc???

  • SatyajitM on December 14, 2009, 14:24 GMT

    Test cricket has been played for 130 years without a refferal system and on average people were ok with it. It's shame to say that Indian won the SL series due to non availability of refferal system, that too when they won both tests by innings. If you look at ongoing WI-Aus series, Gayle is completely unconvinced by the system and Ponting thinks the system is probably still not ready for test cricket. I agree to his suggestion that it should be first used in domestic circuit. Tony Cozier is completely unhappy with and Tony Greig thinks it's a mixed bag and should not involve players in the field. I agree to this line of thinking. We are complicating the game further for the players who should concentrate more on cricketing skills. But UDRS is working like a lottery! It has been introduced in a haste. Let it first mature at domestic level and then have the third umpire have all technology and interfere when he sees a glaring mistake.

  • abhyu23 on December 14, 2009, 2:34 GMT

    @JoeGilly and VGomes, so now India are not allowed to win tosses, not allowed to get any dubious decisions going for them, not allowed to tour SriLanka, West Indies, right? What will you people come up with next, not allowed to bat with a bat or bowl with a ball, why those may be artificially manipulated too to give Indian players unfair advantage! And where were all the shouts about UDRS when most of the bad decisions were going against India at Aus? Why did we not hear you people shouting about UDRS when a leading former WI cricketer observed that most bad decisions tended to favour Australia because they were no. 1? Seriously, Cricinfo should consider 20 times before publishing comments from you two.

  • spiritwithin on December 13, 2009, 16:38 GMT

    @ Vansan

    yes I agree wid u that URDS sud hav been used but both da umpires were neutral so talking about bias by some ppl is very rude...and even australia were da no.1 team without URDS for so many years does it mean they did'nt deserved no.1 status earlier??rules r same for both da teams in a series...and india reached no.1 by winning against various teams even before URDS rules were applied except this Sri Lanka series...

  • SuperSharky on December 13, 2009, 14:37 GMT

    I'm glad India still wants to play some Tests. I hope South Africa will strongly play with and try to keep the Test Game alive. Twenty/20 maybe the spectators best format of the game, but for most of the cricketers, that I know of, luck and unluck play a big role in twenty/20. For some it is more fun than a dual. But they love the money. And when they really wants to concentrate on showing off their cricket talent, patience, endurance and character, they prefer to do it in the 5 day game. I'ts more of a strategy chess game. You,ve got a better chance to create luck in the 5 day game. Competitive cricket series should consist of 3 Test, 3 ODI (mini-tests) and 3 Twenty/20. Rain has always been a enemy factor and you'll just have to except a washed-out series. You could have extra days for the shorter formats of the game. The series should be no longer than 5 weeks. 3 ODI's in 1 week and 3 twenty/20's in 1 week. The rest is a Test a week. This news above is good news!!!

  • SuperSharky on December 13, 2009, 11:04 GMT

    I'm not from the sub-continent and I don't complain about the pitches. I also wants to see some pitches should favour the bowler and some pitches should favour the batsman. There should be a balance. I think watching batting pitches with big scores all the time are a bore. It's sometimes boring. I also wants to see turn in the sub-continent, swing in England, uneven bounce in the West Indies and Fast Green pitches in Australia and South Africa. We wants to see our heroes facing the DANGER on a fast pitch with a helmet and today's guards. Yesterday's heroes didn't had that gear and ended up in hospital. Not nice, but we love it when our heroes face the danger without any complains. We also sigh when Ricky Ponting or Graeme Smith complains about a pitch. We don't understand why, but see it most of the time just as a mental tactic. All the formats change so much so we should have 3 separate rankings for each format, but a Series-Ranking would also be nice.

  • abhyu23 on December 13, 2009, 10:40 GMT

    @pienk-zuit, Why are you forgetting that South africa won the Ahmedabad Test in 2008 on a substandard pitch, where the ball was moving on day 1 like crazy? Credit should go to India for winning on a challenging pitch in the third test to which South Africa did not adjust. By the way, which team was allout for 85 on a "quality" wicket in Jo'burg in 2006?

  • MatYousuf on December 13, 2009, 8:38 GMT

    It's a shame that India is now looking to play tests just to retain their No.1 test ranking spot. This is pretty much evident from the fact that they are are even willing to play a 2 test series by reducing the one day internationals.

    The argument is supported by the fact that this initiative was taken by BCCI just after a week of gaining No.1 test ranking. I strongly feel that ICC should disallow such adjustments to the schedule.

  • Vansan on December 13, 2009, 2:58 GMT

    @ spiritwithin, probably mcroos is wrong? But do BCCI have any hesitation having referal system, if BCCI and INDIA agree referal system and win the series, its really good for INDIAN Cricket, else everyone will come with their opinions, so implement REFERAL as it is i Aus and NZ and prove it you deserve 1 position in Tests. REFERAL SYSTEM is to avoid crucial umpiring errors, better implement it..

  • spiritwithin on December 12, 2009, 22:03 GMT

    some ppl here r talkin about conspiracies regarding india's T20 WC win in 2007 as well as their ascesion to no.1 in test ranking thereby questioning india's integrity...to all those crying babies let me tell u that india reached da no.1 position in da same way as SA and Australia did earlier and did it by performing consistently well against various teams in varying conditions just like SA and australia had done it earlier...in da last two years india beat england(both home and away),new zealand in da away series(no home series),beat australia at home and beat them in perth in a tightly contested series(lost da series 2-1 courtesy bucknor),beat pakistan srilanka & west indies...so if winning is conspiracy than all r part of it...and what d u ppl mean by quality pitches??just like SA and australia hav fast & bouncy pitches similarly subcontinent pitches r slow and spinning wickets and every country prepare wicket according 2 their advantage..so a quality side sud in all conditions

  • spiritwithin on December 12, 2009, 17:45 GMT

    @JoeGilly & V.GOMES..so 4 ppl like u there's conspiracy goin on??thats y india attained no.1 status and also won T20 WC in 2007...does it means other teams like SA australia etc have lost da match intentionally??u mean to say they were also part of da match fixing??for ur kind information india has been winning away test series consitently nowadays(ur still in a dreamland??)..even in australia india is performing well for da last two series..not lost a series to ENG after 1996(home or away),won in NZ,in SA won a test last time but lost da series in a tightly contested series by 2-1..won in pakistan..beat australia 2-0 in 2008...what d u mean by quality pitches??just bcoz u were brought up in fast seaming and bouncy pithes does'nt mean ur pithes r good and spinning pithes r bad..heard about home advantage??sucontinent pithes r tradirionally slow and assist spins..its ur incapability dat u ppl r afraid of spinning wickets..what about mathes finishin inside 3days in SA ENG or aus etc???

  • spiritwithin on December 12, 2009, 16:52 GMT

    ''Mcroos'' says that india wins against srilanka bcoz there was no refferal system in da test series and cant win a test with a refferal system ...srry to say but u r way off da mark and heavily biased in ur judgement...india wins bcoz of good allround performance and both da umpires were neutral..one or two decisions goes in favour or against a team,its usual...in da last test only dilshan was wrongly judged out.. same in da 2nd test as well...some decisions went against indian bowlers as well..but as usual ppl like u can find fault everything with bcci,india etc...

  • Rohan0309 on December 12, 2009, 10:39 GMT

    It is a shame that BCCI made this move only after India acquired the coveted no.1 spot in Tests. As vpadmana said: "It's the right decision but for all the wrong reasons."

  • alonedark on December 12, 2009, 9:51 GMT

    India should play more tests not only to retain no.1 position but also keep their momentum going,it helps player like yuvraj singh to gain experiences and become a consistant test player.I LOVE TEST CRICKET more than T20.

  • katochnr on December 12, 2009, 8:55 GMT

    at least the golden gods in the BCCI agreed to these tests .. now i hope they roll some good pitches ..

  • Irfan51s on December 12, 2009, 8:13 GMT

    GOOD ONE, T10I,

    I am with him for his format. It will lessen the load on cricketers and bring all tours on equal terms. All countries should do away with 5 test.

    I think 3 tests, 2 T10 and 3 one days makes for a gr8 tour.

    Irfan

  • Nipun on December 12, 2009, 7:13 GMT

    Once again people have set about making stupid arguments about Sachin & Ricky.Why can't they accept the fact that both are absolute legends & get on with it without comparison ? These people are so cheap,it stinks !

  • TMS8137 on December 12, 2009, 4:34 GMT

    I personally dont like a 2 test series. A series should be clubbed together for a minimum of 3 tests. 7 match ODI's need to be done away with as they are too much of a bore. It is really an aneurysm to watch 7 ODI's between 2 teams. All series should be played with a minimum of 3 tests, 5 ODI's and if you really must a T20. I somehow dont like T20's they seem too advantaged towards the bat. We need Extremely bowler friendly T20 wickets. like crumbling tracks or seaming ones to narrow the difference between bat and ball.

  • tick on December 12, 2009, 4:15 GMT

    Good.atleast india are positive and bold in playing tests to maintain their ranking.and they should be because till they have tendulkar,dravid and laxmann they can remain # 1.but i am soorry to say that the team that played t20 including players like rohit and raina and kartik, who will play tests with retirements of those greats in next 2 years will again take indian team to lower rankings and there is no doubt in it.so while the greats are around they should take as much lead as possible in rankings because after them there is certain road downhill.

  • Mcroos on December 12, 2009, 4:14 GMT

    playing test matchs is very good but why India doing this??? to keep there rank number 1 safe or somthing else? Ok if India need to play aganist South Africa 2 test they must include the review system for this 2 test. If not sorry to say South Africa will face same problem as Srilankans. if India agree with review system they will find a huge defecalities to win a match.

  • anmn on December 12, 2009, 3:58 GMT

    Excellent Job, BCCI. Now, where are those India-bashers? BCCI has done such a good decision, I am sure all those BCCI-bashers like to lie low, instead of coming out to appreciate. Where are those T20 haters?

  • Quetzal on December 12, 2009, 3:58 GMT

    "Experienceisoverated" says "let their ranking slip and we'll be back to ignoring test cricket like we should", which shows that you are probably as fickle as the BCCI.

    The reason the stadiums are empty in India is because the pitches are dead and don't make for a good spectacle, and there are very few tests scheduled against strong opposition.

    Luckily test cricket still pulls the crowds in Australia, the UK, South Africa and NZ. I have lived in London & Sydney and it is hard to come by a ticket to a good days Test cricket.

    You are of course welcome to stick to the repetitve, meaningless formats of the game. Or watch a game of baseball, which provides an equivalent spectacle to T20.

  • JoeGilly on December 12, 2009, 3:37 GMT

    Posted by V.GOMES on (December 11 2009, 11:35 AM GMT): Very good observation. My thoughts exactly. India has toured cash-strapped Sri Lanka 4+ this year after business man Gamini Lokuge replaced no-nonsense Ranatunga. Since then Dhoni has won 90% of tosses against SL. I think Sri Lanka had a big part to play in the success of India in the ODI format this year and now in the Test format. These tours need to be regulated much closely by the ICC. India not using URDS in this series when it was made MANDITORY by the ICC as of 1st October is VERY SUSPICIOUS. Then the manner they won it by (1st match) coin toss (2nd match) Umpiring, is even more suspicious. Funny why India does not perform in multinational tournaments like ChampTrophy World Cup 2007 etc. Very suspicious.

  • Anand_Nandakumar on December 12, 2009, 3:17 GMT

    Finally, the BCCI is seeing some sense. But I am amazed that the ICC cannot get their scheduling and planning right at all. The current process is quite amateurish and ad-hoc. Please read my more detaled post about this at my blog http://3piecesuitwithterrycot.blogspot.com/2009/12/open-letter-to-mr-david-morgan.html

  • kriskini on December 12, 2009, 1:06 GMT

    There should be only one rating in cricket which includes all format of the game. Any bilateral series must include 2 tests 2 T20 and 3 ODIS. Highest points should be given when a side wins test match/series. In this way every team has to repect all format of the game.

  • virginsangram on December 12, 2009, 0:57 GMT

    Well at last BCCI has been able to acknowledge the importance of test cricket which is a good thing.But we should not forget the change of mind has come after INDIA becomes no1 in test ranking.Indian team has to go a long way if they want to be at the top of the test ranking all the times by beating SOUTH AFRICA and AUSTRALIA team at the own backyard.

  • naresh.chitanya on December 12, 2009, 0:43 GMT

    continued Why you guys not digesting the India to become number 1. India got the number one because it consistently played well. If it plays well in the future it will be number one or it goes down. Please accept the truth and move on...

  • naresh.chitanya on December 12, 2009, 0:05 GMT

    After reading views of outside subcontinent. Now I understand why BCCI became so much adamant. These guys criticize every move of BCCI. After BCCI ready to play two more test, now they are thinking these conspiracy. If India becomes number 1 it is conspiracy, if other teams (esp other than subcontinent) true and ranking also true, there is no flaw in the rankings. When India make spin pitch it is substandard, if Eng, Aus and SA makes green tops those true pitches sportive. If you dont know to play spin it not fault of BCCI or India. When we were not able play on green tops every body used to blame India about their inability. Same thing valid to all countries. If Aus true champion why it lost two Ashes series in England and India in 2001 and 2008. If you consider this Australia also winning in home side only. How many Oz win with help of bad umpiring (esp with Bucknor) every body knows in the world. It happens once or twice India every body starts crying and telling conspiracy.

  • aditya87 on December 11, 2009, 22:38 GMT

    @cricpolitics: You're probably right, but as long as it helps promote Test cricket, I don't care what the intentions are.

  • arjun814 on December 11, 2009, 22:24 GMT

    How about 3 tests and 2 T20?

    Best of 2 tests doesn't make any sense(one of them is anyway going to be a draw on flat pitch). For crying out loud they are the No 1 and 2 teams in the world and they are just playing 2 tests. I know it is better than not playing any tests. Had India not been No1 in the world, would BCCI made this request to SA? Top cricketing nations priotity should be to play atleast 3 test match series and then play the meaningless bilateral oneday series if schedule permits. Now a days anyway the bilateral one day series are becoming insignificant and people all only interested in multi team one day tournaments.

  • MasterClass on December 11, 2009, 21:38 GMT

    If BCCI is listening I'd much rather plunk down my hard earned cash for an interesting test series (maybe 2 in India & 2 in SA) than watch meaningless ODI games. Splitting the series 2/2 would also take away criticisms about retaining the No. 1 spot w/ flat pitches and make for an interesting overall series that challenges the skill of all the players. India have a pace line-up as good as any, and spin better than most. As far as batting goes no doubt India has the best by a huge margin. It's time to shut-up the critics about Indian batsmen not being able to handle pace/bounce. What crock! The top-order Indian batsmen have averages over 50 which get even better overseas!

  • nomro on December 11, 2009, 21:22 GMT

    A kid growing on a diet of slam bang T20 may not be able to differentiate between a Sachin Tendulkar and a Shahid Afridi in the years to come.

    He may possibly grow up with a wrong impression of who is a greater batsman of the two.

  • vpadmana on December 11, 2009, 21:09 GMT

    It's the right decision but for all the wrong reasons.

  • Jarr30 on December 11, 2009, 20:16 GMT

    This is the best decisison taken by both boards which includes 2 tests rather than playing 7 one day series which sucks... All these yrs BCCI was only interested in making money. BCCI make Indian players play 40-45 one dayers, less than 10 tests and 64 IPL T20 games plus T20 owrld cup, which is waaayy tooo much. By reducing the one dayers, players & board will benefit both ways.

  • atulcricket on December 11, 2009, 20:14 GMT

    I don't care if BCCI has done it for money or reviving the tests or for indian ranking. there is nothing wrong in any of the reasons. I am just happy that BCCI is trying to squeeze in 2 tests. I am in favour of 4 test series with Aus, SA, Eng but something is better than nothing, so 2 test are also welcome. I was myself hoping for BCCI to do that. thanks BCCI

  • r1m2 on December 11, 2009, 20:00 GMT

    cricpolitics took the words right out of my fingers, so read his comments. I am not a big fan of conspiracy theories, but this is crystal clear from the recent happenings.

  • kal07 on December 11, 2009, 18:43 GMT

    @BangaloreKid...Well to you surprise I did catch your sarcasm. Its funny though I expected the exact counterpoint that you raised. Its true BCCI does try to cramp matches but these are not many as you suggested. Tell me your source from where you got the idea that MANY matches are outside of FTP...

    Now my point is Cricinfo made no mistake in saying that BCCI is playing 2 tests in 11 months bcoz that was the previous schedule [approved by the BCCI FYI], so it is not their fault that BCCI tampered it now after the performance of Indian team. Anything else you want to rant about? [and I say this bcoz it seems from your other comments you don't appreciate other ppls opinion...Good for you you support Ricky {btw notouts are not counted as innings, so avg system isn't foolproof}]. Couldn't you be happy for this news [IND vs SA], what more can you ask for?

  • Experienceisoverrated on December 11, 2009, 18:39 GMT

    Its a dead format. Look at the stadiums during most of the matches. Completely empty. You would think its a Ranji Trophy game going on. The commentators have to basically beg people to come buy tickets. Don't give me the weekday excuse either. Weekday T20's and even ODI's don't have this empty stadiums. You all can say what you want about it being the ultimate test of skill, tenacity, boredom whatever. Most people nowadays don't have the time or patience to sit and watch 5 days of a game with a probability of there being no result. Every once in a blue moon there is a "gripping" test match and people crawl out of the woodworks to toot test cricket's horn. The only reason BCCI asked for these matches is they want to capitalize on the fickle Indian public. Now that India is "ranked" no.1 all the Indians are going to claim to love test cricket more than anything and BCCI wants to cash in on that. Let their ranking slip and we'll be back to ignoring test cricket like we should.

  • TwitterJitter on December 11, 2009, 18:33 GMT

    @sasidharp - I agree with you that Tendulkar will definitely be in the my top 10 batsman all time with Bradman being the best. Second place is arguable as well. As for scoring against better bowlers, that makes Gavaskar better than Sachin because he scored against the best all-time pace bowling attack in the world from West Indies and that too many of those runs in West Indies without ever using a helmet. My point is - Tendulkar is definetely not the best all-time batsman in the world as suggested. That belongs to Bradman. It is arguable that he is even the second best. He is one among the top 10 in my opinion although people might come up with a list that makes that debatable. Secondly, arguing for tests so that Sachin can score more runs is the wrong reason to advocate for tests. It means you stop watching once Sachin is out and these people are Sachin fans, not test cricket fans. Sachin may not play for records but some of his fans seem to only watch for his records.

  • Quetzal on December 11, 2009, 18:28 GMT

    FormerMiner - the best cricket played around the world is still Test cricket. It has nothing to do with nostalgia for the Colonial period!

    What are the most memorable cricketing moments of the last decade? Some of them are the Australia vs India Series in 2001; the Ashes series of 2005; Australia vs India in 2007/2008. Compare that to the last two World Cups. And the plethora of T20 matches blur into each other.

    You can have amazing 5 test match series if you prepare the right pitches. Which is what happens in Australia, for example - where Test matches continue to attract big crowds.

    And when I last checked, Test matches were still 5 days long.

  • cricpolitics on December 11, 2009, 18:18 GMT

    If anyone is thinking that this decision was motivated to promote the test format of the game then you are dead wrong. The intentions are very clear if you just pay attention to the recent history. India becomes T20 champion and all of a sudden T20 becomes the gloden format since it was capable of generating money. Now India takes the number 1 spot on a test ranking table the BCCI wants to cash in this opportunity as well so they want to play test cricket now and of course Indian playing in India has a much better chance of maintaining that ranking as well.

  • Quetzal on December 11, 2009, 18:12 GMT

    Delhi4848, wake-up, test cricket is the ultimate test of skill, patience, tenacity, strategy and courage. It differentiates cricket from other sports and is what makes it a beautiful game. It is what the players love to play!

    If Test cricket dies, cricket will become just another big business beholden to corporate interests and those who have the attention span of a gnat. And we have all seen what happens when the main drivers are profit, advertising and gambling revenues.

    I hope T20 supersedes the 50 over form of the game. But T20 can never provide the thrill and fulfillment of a hard fought test match. In T20 you can't watch a player score a tenacious century or double-hundred. You can't watch an enthralling battle between a spinner and a batsman during a long spell. You can't see 5 days of effort and energy, momentum shifts and the diversity of results.

    India and South Africa should pay a real series (at least 3 or 4 tests), on result-orientated pitches.

  • TwitterJitter on December 11, 2009, 18:06 GMT

    @truthspeaker - That's the weirdest reason for advocating more tests that I have seen todate. Did the number of people (or cricket fans) in the country/region increase as a result of splitting the state into two? If not, then the same reasons which existed yesterday for playing tests or T20s or ODIs today still exist today. I don't think more states in the country means more tests. Thats really funny though. BTW, even if we go by your logic of more states and hence more tests, Andhra and Hyderabad were two separate cricket associations from the beginning. There were two stadiums for a while now - one in Hyderabad, and the other in Vizag. So, I am not sure what changed.

  • Alexk400 on December 11, 2009, 17:52 GMT

    Neo sucks arse. Bad quality but cheaply made like Indian IT. People like cheap labour.

    India need to produce high quality Telecast. Unfortunately no one to control greediness of BCCI.

  • sasidharp on December 11, 2009, 17:50 GMT

    @BangaloreKid What nonsense!! Tendulkar and Ponting have almost the same average if you take compare them at similar stages in their career (134 matches) and that's with Tendulkar having a high average against what was arguably one of the best bowling line ups ever. Furthermore, Tendulkar built up his high average against the likes of McGrath, Warne, Akram, Younis, Ambrose et al. Ponting has started building up his average in this relatively soft post 2000 era without having to face either McGrath or Warne. You can't even use the flat track argument since unlike other Indian batsmen, Tendulkar's average in his first 134 matches (comparing with Ponting again) actually IMPROVES away from home. And, he plays for records? When you are accumulating records at a record pace everybody accuses you of that. Besides, show me a person who ISN'T proud of his records. I'm not saying Tendulkar is the greatest (Bradman is) but he is def in strong contention for 2nd place w/ Lara and Ponting

  • mmsandeep on December 11, 2009, 17:43 GMT

    @JoeGilly roflol!!! ... what a theory!.. you made my day - thank you!

  • bluestar555 on December 11, 2009, 17:42 GMT

    The lost of interest in test cricket has gone up since the time Zimbabwe & Bangladesh have been granted the test status.If ICC could sort this and have the traditional 8 test playing nations for tests than things would be different. My personal observation has been test cricket is a tradition to be played by the traditional teams who have been following from ages.

  • Josemathew on December 11, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    Hi, Very good move. It is nice to watch a test which sachin play classicaly than a rushy game. People wish to make sure that Sachin and India Finish Top only when play more tests.

    Hope BCCI know that 70% of the fan to watch Sachin and they prefer sachin playing test than one day, keeping the acheivements in mind.

    Australia play almost double test matches than india. So BCCI must make sure more and more test matches rather than going for one days. It is important for the world cup too. that no injurys and enough rest for the players before World cup.

    Congratulations BCCI. Please try for more games. this is encouraging news for a true cricket fan.

  • truthspeaker on December 11, 2009, 17:28 GMT

    As India is in the process of enlarging the number of states 9telengana of late), BCCI should plan more Tests - There wil be more states, and hence more venues to play Tests, to spread cricket far and wide - This mandates more Tests - so, wonder why BCCI has shrunk number of Tests for 2010

  • raghuram26 on December 11, 2009, 17:28 GMT

    We Indians are so fickle minded people , We won the T20 World Cup 2 years back and and suddenly we started praising the new version of the game and now we are almost struggling to win a Game with a good team . Now, in 2009 we reached first Place in Tests and suddenly we started praising the longer version and started criticizing the 50 over format . Tats our Vision towards the game . I am a true Indian fan who loves watching all the Formats , so my point is BCCI or the ICC wants to give equal importance to all 3 formats . An ideal tour would be 3 Tests, 3 T20s and 5 ODI. Winning or Losing doesn't matter , we should encourage all the Formats of the game . After all we are Fans of Cricket !!!!

  • DrDonaLolo on December 11, 2009, 17:05 GMT

    JoeGilly, I was thinking 100% same as you, plus I really don't trust on SL, Pak and WI boards when it comes to getting money from BCCI for selling their matches.

    I will consider ranking only true and fair ranking when all teams will start using the URDS (The Honest System).

    I had never thought one day a team would go at No.1 ranking without having a single fast bowler!!!

    Posted by JoeGilly on (December 11 2009, 12:07 PM GMT) After the 2007 World cup and after the ICC moved its HQ to Dubai, cricket became a business with India its main customer. Control your main customer and control your business. When ICC wanted launch T20 and make its more popular, India won the T20 world cup. Now when ICC wants to boost Test cricket, India becomes the no.1 test nation. This is what's too much of a coincidence. Not having URDS and becoming no.1 in the manner they won the last test, is even more of a coincidence. I fear for the 2011 world cup, hope it is not fixed.

  • TwitterJitter on December 11, 2009, 16:56 GMT

    @Shaunk - Sachin is the greatest cricketer to ever play the game? Please.. enough with hyperboly. Sachin's test average is not much better than any of the top 15 alltime run getters in test cricket. Its just that he played more games than them and he will continue to play forever because in India for us idol worship is common and people treat his personal records as their own personal records or countries records. Its a cultural thing, I suppose. I am not saying that he is not among the top batsman, but top - please. Not even close.. Another thing for your info. If we go by their current test averages Ponting will score more runs than Sachin playing same number of innings - albeit with less amount of hype than Sachin. I am not saying this to put down Sachin but he is not by any strech better than Ponting who has more runs per innings in tests while at the same time not playing for records exclusively.

  • Vansan on December 11, 2009, 16:56 GMT

    If INDIA and SA to battle for the TEST SPOTS, BCCI should make sportive pitches as in Australia, ELSE Let INDIA and SA battle it out in a neutral venue like Sharjah. As i see its INDIA's turn to go to SA coz SA was already in INDIA on spring 2008, it seems really BCCI wanted INDIA to regain 1st PLACE if they loose in Jan..:))

  • Jerseyite on December 11, 2009, 16:50 GMT

    India Must start playing 4 test series against Australia and South Africa on a regular basis, both home and away. To anyone who says test cricket is dead, you should get your head examined. There are certain series that generate more interest than meaningless one day cricket. I would bet that when say NZ and Bangladesh play a one dayer, it generates much lesser interest than a India-Aus Test series

    They MUST only play test cricket in certain centers that love test cricket. For eg. Ahmedabad that recently hosted the first test between India and Srilanka, in the just concluded series, should NEVER host a series, because test cricket is not watched by anyone. Centers like Chennai and Hyderabad that love test cricket should be encouraged since they love their cricket. Even centers like Calcutta and Mohali to some extent support test cricket. In any case, BCCI only cares about one thing - Money. So if they get attendance from test match cricket in certain centers, then whats the problem.

  • FormerMiner on December 11, 2009, 16:44 GMT

    "not too long back, we were hosting five tests in a series!" Really? not long back? India has hosted only four series of five tests or more in the last 30 years! The last of those was in 1986 - 23 years ago!

    That has been for good reason. The public is not interested. The players are not interested. The sponsors are not interested. The broadcasters are filled with ennui. The imbalance among sides is profound.

    The only ones who clamor for Test matches are avuncular purists for who fondly reminisce test matches as if they were yesterday.

    Five day test matches are passe. So please lets live with that fact. I hears constant calls for a Resurrection of 5 day test matches. Why? for who? Sure, while we are at it, why not ask for lazy afternoons and rest days too?

    It took 50 years to get rid of timeless tests. Another 50 to get rid of rest days. 15 to induce a semblance of action with mandatory 90 overs a day.

    Lets get rid of the relic of 19th century British colonial indolence.

  • surajgsnair on December 11, 2009, 16:44 GMT

    Who told its the dead format..? U must hv started watching cricket when india win T20 world cup.! real cricket is test cricket . Dont forget It.! Can Ireland team Win a test Match at present ? T20 is game of luck n Money..! This T20 Hype will soon fade off. Wht will remain is the purest form of cricket dats test Cricket. India playing more test cricket is good for the players like ojha, Mishra, Sreesanth ,Raina. etc ..!

  • pin_jes on December 11, 2009, 16:34 GMT

    I think they should at least play 3 test if not 5. What happens is that in a longer test series they better team always wins rather than one of the team getting lucky and winning the series 1-0. It's ICC responsibility that they make sure that the teams plays longer test series (3 or more tests).

  • ms2geet on December 11, 2009, 16:30 GMT

    It is sheer shame what these fool politicians doing in Board. They don't understand what cricket is all about.They know only to make cheap political speeches. People who are encouraging goondaism in parliament and leaving no chance to rape motherland whatelse can be expected of them. People with nonsense minds running country after country to organise obscene T20's and meaningless 7 match one day series.These test cricket allergic animals need to be thrown out of scene.

  • HundredPercentBarcelonista on December 11, 2009, 16:21 GMT

    Santosh, we haven't hosted a 5-test series for over two decades. For starters, most teams don't want to tour India for that long a period.

    I would like to call Ken Borland out for misinformation. It was Cricket South Africa that asked for the test series to be postponed because of a supposedly hectic schedule. If playing test cricket was so important to them they could've asked for the postponement of the ODI series. Get your facts right before writing here, but then I guess blaming BCCI for everything is in vogue.

    About the Kanpur pitch, I thought South Africa got the better of the conditions. Nobody complained when they won the previous test inside three days. Nobody complained when Australia beat England in less than 200 overs of cricket at Headingley. That's fine, pitches with pace, bounce, swing, seam are good for cricket but it's a crime to prepare a track that turns from day one. The worst part about this is that a lot of Indians seem to conform to this theory too.

  • Delhi4848 on December 11, 2009, 15:50 GMT

    its a dead format no matter how hard they try,u cant buy the interest of the world with money and BCCI should understand that.The indian team should learn T20 cricket cz they suck at that.Rather watch Ireland play T20 cricket with Mohun Bagan rather than a 5 day test.

  • Amit_Cric on December 11, 2009, 15:32 GMT

    JoeGilly your comment is unfortunate. Are you an Australian?

  • YGSR on December 11, 2009, 15:29 GMT

    Now that Hyderabad Cricket Association has its own brand new stadium BCCI should allot a test match as per rotation policy.

    BCCI needs to be aware of the fact that Hyderabad was already a test centre even before today's test centres: Bangalore, Mohali, Ahmedabad, and Nagpur had come into existence.

    Also if Brabourne stadium could be considered for staging test matches what prevents BCCI from allotting a test match to Hyderabad as per rotation policy.

    BCCI also needs to explain the tragic omission of Hyderabad from World cup 11 matches while Bangalore, Mohali, Ahmedabad, and Nagpur got the opportunity.

    This is indeed a very unfair policy that shouid immediately be corrected.

  • Achillesofthisera on December 11, 2009, 15:19 GMT

    I wholeheartedly agree with ARUNTHESELECTOR about playing 3 tests and 5 ODIs in an ideal tour without any T20s which should only be played every 2 years in the ICC T20 World Cup. I beg to ICC, please wake up and make this certain changes to promote and save the game of gentlemen Cricket

  • stalefresh on December 11, 2009, 15:13 GMT

    Why 2 Test? India and SA are top test teams and they deserve to play atleast 4 test to find out the real champion. BCCI is such a joke. Where is a dedicated fans website? Where are the top spectator friendly conditions in stadiums? Where is more Test match cricket? Why are the Indian rights with NEO? - they are doing such a shaddy job with coverage - everyone can see it.

  • LoveIndianCricket on December 11, 2009, 15:06 GMT

    To all you cry babies who hate to see India on top... Get over it. Why can't you see another country (other than Australia, Eng or South Africa) be on top? They have worked hard for this, they deserve it. As for the people questioning biased umpiring, one player who has been given out unfairly more than any other is Sachin Tendulkar. And guess what he always respected the decision and walked. As for the pitches, stop complaining about them. Every country prepares pitches to suit their bowlers. I agree occasionally you will get a no-result shocker of a pitch, but that's part of the game too. With BCCI controlling the game, well they are the richest cricket board. With money comes power. Take any industry, the company with the largest market share generally has the most influence. Why should cricket be any different. In the end ICC is there to make money as well. So suck it up and enjoy the game!

  • sunilgopi on December 11, 2009, 15:04 GMT

    What is the point of 7 ODIs? Do the players even want to play that many? The only ones who can stand up to the BCCI are the indian players. They should have a union and stop this going on. Lalit Modi and his cronies are going to do what the Great Warne could never do, prevent Sachin from scoring runs. Congratulations Mr Modi. While you fill your pockets the jewel of india is denied and Australians through Ricky Ponting and Cricket Australia's appropriate scheduling will have their national pride.

  • zak123kaif on December 11, 2009, 15:03 GMT

    Finally and Thankfully the BCCI showed some sort of respect for test matches.It was really disheartning to see India playing only 2 tests in next 11 months.India would have been easily be overtaken either by australia or by the proteas.playing a few tests will certainly help India to retain their top position and i am sure they will retain it.GOOD LUCK INDIA

  • moronosaurus on December 11, 2009, 14:44 GMT

    Boooo BCCI! Why give in to the purists' demands? Test cricket sucks. Test cricket must die! You were doing so well killing it off, and now just because India's good at it you want to throw it a bone? For god's sake, be consistent! Test cricket is down - keep kicking it till it's out! And when that's done, you can concentrate on killing off ODIs :-)

  • AKLO on December 11, 2009, 14:37 GMT

    Well it is great to hear some effort on the part of BCCI...... But again BCCI has misssed the trick...... they should have scrapped all 5 ODIs and just have full test series of 3 or 4 matches and marketed as a SHOWDOWN between No 1 and No. 2 team in the world!!!! that would have been really fantastic test series in front of packed stadiums if test matches are played at regular venue like Eden Gardens in kolkata, Chenna, Banglore, and Mumbai

  • singhinderjit95 on December 11, 2009, 14:32 GMT

    Test and Odi games are the best. you have choice how you wanna play, not just slogding like in t20's. T20's are like baseball. So think ICC should stop t20 games to save cricket.

  • Alexk400 on December 11, 2009, 14:31 GMT

    Better than nothing. if it is 3 Tests , it would have been better. Oh well. I do not mind spinning track as long as it is not flat track to enchance sachin records.

    Anyway it will decide once for all who is number 1.

    Yep lots of people whine if it is spinning track. I do not mind as we get green top when we go to SA and bouncy wicket in australia. So nothing wrong with that.

    Just no to flat wickets.

  • karthikvlk on December 11, 2009, 14:29 GMT

    //, are you suggesting that new zealand and australia are part of india?//

    we have won a test in SA. when australia was top of the ranking, they struggled to beat india in India... check the records

  • princeofnyc on December 11, 2009, 14:02 GMT

    Why only a 2-test series? 2-test series are nothings...just to placate the test-loving crowd. The ICC shoud mandate that all test series should have at least 3 tests, and no two teams should be allowed to play 2 ODI or T20I series without a test series in between. Test cricket is wonderful offering so many ups and downs and need to be saved from the money-grabbers at the BCCI who view it only as a footnote. For me, there is no T20 or even ODI without test cricket. If they kill test cricket, I will follow baseball instead of cricket!

  • santhoshkudva on December 11, 2009, 13:46 GMT

    so there you are, two tests to do everybody a favour and tell the world 'even we play tests'. tests in india are no longer events to look forward to. it pains me no end when i remind myself that not too long back, we were hosting five tests in a series!

  • kalikesam on December 11, 2009, 13:44 GMT

    PienkZuit, are you suggesting that new zealand and australia are part of india?

  • NewYorkCricket on December 11, 2009, 13:37 GMT

    So now the number 1 and the number 2 test teams in the world are going to play a 2 match test series? I would strongly encourage senior members of the cricket team to go on strike and teach the board a lesson.

  • Shaunk on December 11, 2009, 13:32 GMT

    BCCI must watch out as chasing money with the limited overs format of the game might cost the greatest cricketer to ever play the game (Sachin Tendulkar) from holding the world record for the most number of test century's. Sachin deserves this record but not far behind is Ricky and if Ricky is going to have fourteen or sixteen more test innings than Sachin then Sachin's record in not guaranteed. Furthermore Sachin is not in his early thirty's anymore.

  • karthikvlk on December 11, 2009, 13:32 GMT

    /We're probably going to have two more shocking pitches for this series, like the last time South Africa toured in India. SA was ahead 1-0 with 1 test to play, and then the Indians prepared a shocker of a wicket to make sure they square the series. Don't fool yourself, the no 1 and no 2 teams played against each other earlier in the year when South Africa played Australia. India is not even in the top 3 teams, never mind what the rankings say. They don't win away from home on quality pitches. South Africa and Australia regularly do.//

    lols one more person is who cant face the reality,. Check indias away record in statsguru in cricinfo for last 5 year they are winning consistently. When you people say swinging pitches are sporting then u must prepared to play at turning tracks. if you cant they you people not no 1

  • aruntheselector on December 11, 2009, 13:28 GMT

    A good move.Its only now BCCI people are opening their eyes.They look only at money.High time they scrap 7 ODIs in a tour.There should be minimum of 3 Tests.It would be gr8 if 1 more could be accomodated.An ideal tour should have 3 tests and 5 ODIs.It should not have any T20 match.International T20 must be played only in World Cup.

  • robin7298 on December 11, 2009, 13:19 GMT

    "We're probably going to have two more shocking pitches for this series, like the last time South Africa toured in India. SA was ahead 1-0 with 1 test to play, and then the Indians prepared a shocker of a wicket to make sure they square the series. Don't fool yourself, the no 1 and no 2 teams played against each other earlier in the year when South Africa played Australia. India is not even in the top 3 teams, never mind what the rankings say. They don't win away from home on quality pitches. South Africa and Australia regularly do.."

    so quality pitches are the ones that help pace right? lol..what rubbish? havent u heard of the term- 'home advantage'? everyone knows there are better bowling wickets in australia and south africa while in india, the ball does turn. thats how it is. so if south africa and australia are the best, why dont they win consistently in india? instead of whining whenever india wins that the wicket was bad, the saffers and aussies should learn to play spin bowlin

  • manasvi_lingam on December 11, 2009, 13:15 GMT

    A certain reader believes the Kanpur pitch was "shocking" because it was spin-conducive. It isn't hard to notice that he didn't criticize the state of the pitch during which the 1st Test took place, perhaps because it was so close to home conditions? I'd like to know why a seaming/lightning-fast track is acceptable while a spin track isn't? And if Australia which struggled to draw a Test against a moderate WI side is the No.1/No.2 then that says a lot about the state of cricket. I do hope that India plays to its strengths and prepares pitches that favour its bowlers and batsmen. (there is such a thing as "home advantage" and every cricketing nation in the world makes use of it) This would enable us to see just how well the world-class (?) Proteas bat on a spinning minefield.

  • insightfulcricketer on December 11, 2009, 13:04 GMT

    Just responding to PienkZuit - SA have produced so green wickets after packing their team with 5 fast bowlers when they did not have world class bats in the mid 90s . So lets be clear here no team is spotless clean record. I have always admired South AFrican players irrespective of their regular consistent chokes. India beat South Africa on a green wicket in SA. And we lost the decisive 3rd test closely when we did not have a decent bowling attack because of injuries. This Indian team is special. Next time or whenever a SA player scores a triple hundred in even time or a bowler delivers a special performance overseas then we can call SA truly world class. They are there because of teamwork but not the firm holders of the crown like WI were and Australians were. So relax buddy there are top 3 teams out there .Yours is also on of them but it is definitely not the IT team yet.

  • Nipun on December 11, 2009, 12:41 GMT

    It's wonderful that a test series between India & SA is being arranged,but why in India ? The pitches in India are horribly horrendous,& the superb batsmen present on either side would pile up runs @4/5 an over,amass scores of 500/600,,put us all into never-ending sleep,& spell doom for test cricket!

  • sathish4 on December 11, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    Another triple hundred for Sehwag then. We'll have pitches that can be mistaken for roads. In fact, the roads here in Chennai half the time deteriorate faster than test match pitches in India. Maybe we should get the curators to lay the roads and the road layers to lay the pitch?

  • ShankarAnand on December 11, 2009, 12:29 GMT

    PienkZuit: India has recently won test series in England, West Indies, New Zealand, Pakistan. But for Steve Bucknor, they actually "won" in Australia too. And they won a test in South Africa before losing the next two. Please look up for information before making sweeping statements.

  • TwitterJitter on December 11, 2009, 12:28 GMT

    @kal07 - Mr. Genius (sarcasm intended, as I don't think you are smart enough to grasp it on your own), Can you go back last two years and check how many tours were scheduled by BCCI outside of FTP? You will find Indian team's schedule is usually cramped because most of the tours/games are scheduled outside of FTP. Granted, these may be skewed towards shorter forms, but nonetheless BCCI is known to schedule lot of games outside of FTP. To make prejudegements on how many tests Indian team is going to play in the next 12-18 months far out is just plain stupid. That is why I am not surprised after reading this news because I am not prone to highs and lows in feelings like menstrual cycles some of you seem to have after reading every commentary that is projected in happen in next 2 years and taking it literally to be a fact. Cricinfo writers have been projecting doom and gloom for the past decade. It does make it true. People here sell news and sensationalism is essence for their survival.

  • Sam_freehit on December 11, 2009, 12:18 GMT

    That is a good news for India and for Indian cricket. I think and ideal tour should consist of minimum 1-2 Tests 2 T20 and at the max 5 ODI. The series Inidan is playing with SL now is a good example of that.

  • Dhaansu_XI on December 11, 2009, 12:16 GMT

    PienkZuit, your argument against India's no. 1ranking is, quite frankly, illogical.

    The pitches in every country are designed to play to the home team's strengths. South African and Australian pitches are fast and bouncy, pitches in the subcontinent are slow and assist turn.. no point complaining about them.. they are the same for both teams playing the match..

    As for India's record overseas, it has, over the past few years, been quite good.. we've won test series in England, New Zealand, West Indies and Pakistan.. we've also won tests in Australia and South Africa in tightly contested series..

  • Matricfail on December 11, 2009, 12:13 GMT

    If this series gets a go. It's gonna be so fabulous SA is playing some top class cricket for couple of years. Their Test outfit looks so dangerous but India probably will give them a good fight this time around in their home. Lets wait and watch.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 11, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    Yes, definately a good move there. I'm glad the BCCI has given in (partly) to requests for more tests and decided on these two tests. What they hoped to achieve with SEVEN ODI's is beyond me... total waste of time in my opinion. If I was to be picky, I'd have to say I agree with some of the comments that imply two-test-series aren't as good as three, but so be it! This is a welcome post and a step in the right direction for a change.

  • Wayne_from_Wantirna on December 11, 2009, 12:08 GMT

    I am from Melbourne and cheer for India although i will watch any TEST match from around the world. I just hope that we get to see the match. I have cable television and digital and have about eight sport channels but nevertheless couldn't see the India v Sri Lanka series. I'm still annoyed about it. How good it would have to see Sehwag's innings!

  • JoeGilly on December 11, 2009, 12:07 GMT

    After the 2007 World cup and after the ICC moved its HQ to Dubai, cricket became a business with India its main customer. Control your main customer and control your business. When ICC wanted launch T20 and make its more popular, India won the T20 world cup. Now when ICC wants to boost Test cricket, India becomes the no.1 test nation. This is what's too much of a coincidence. Not having URDS and becoming no.1 in the manner they won the last test, is even more of a coincidence. I fear for the 2011 world cup, hope it is not fixed.

  • Nrao786 on December 11, 2009, 12:03 GMT

    I think its a welcome idea, however, why is it the BCCI only pursue those needs which always suit their best interests! The current cricket fraternity is ruled like anything else in the world......might is right.....and the bottom dollar dictates the voices' of reason....These mutually exclusive series' between the so-called top teams have served no-one but themselves, as there's no structure or meaning to the games....(leading to a points system, etc). However, in this case the BCCI are not the only ones to blame as the ACB have shown their hunger for money too...i.e. 7 ODIs!

    Balance is required in all forms of cricket, the debate is silly whether Test cricket or ODI has a future....the different forms appeal to different audiences. 20/20 is fun but would also be overkill if we had 5 match series', the format is all too predictable, the beauty is its 'quick duration' and frequency of boundaries - but like fast food it can only be eaten so many time, before u feel sick :p

  • Sehwagfan on December 11, 2009, 11:54 GMT

    All credit goes to Mr. Sehwag...

  • SettingSun on December 11, 2009, 11:54 GMT

    Wow, 4 tests in 11 months. Mr Modi, with this piddling amount of test cricket, you are spoiling us.

  • abin3 on December 11, 2009, 11:50 GMT

    Great! hope IND manages to win the series and stay on the top!

  • V.GOMES on December 11, 2009, 11:35 GMT

    Advice to SA- make sure URDS is implemented. What makes it difficult to tour India is not the SG balls, not the conditions/pitches favorable to India, its not the death threats visiting players get in India, nor is it Dhoni winning 90% of coin tosses against SL. What smaller test nations like Sri Lanka and West Indies struggle most is with the umpiring. Umpires are worried that if they do not support the BCCI's of the world, then they will not get to umpire in major tournaments and tours (ie: loose their job). URDS, will protect smaller countries from umpires who support the larger countries (ie: BCCI which petty much controls ICC). The test series between India & Sri Lanka AND the series between Australia & West Indies are perfect examples to that argument. See what happened to Dilshan and Chandrapaul. The benefit of the doubt must go to the batsman, NOT the larger country that has more say is the ICC. But I doubt URDS will ever get implemented because BCCI is benefiting from it.

  • rockyrocksandshocks on December 11, 2009, 11:21 GMT

    I am a big fan of test cricket and the way teams are playing test cricket these days has made tests more intense and enjoyable. As a indian fan I want my team to play as many tests as possible.

  • mubeenkemisaal on December 11, 2009, 11:21 GMT

    Hah..!!Finally Test cricket in India will find a way to more sponsors and viewers after Team India reaching No.1 spot.Good it made BCCI to think of even test cricket after having vast matches of one dayers and T20 formats..!!

  • kal07 on December 11, 2009, 11:11 GMT

    @BangaloreKid ... Its safe to assume you don't know much about FTP [future tour program]. it would be more helpful if you yourself did some research before critisizing Cricinfo. FTP is a schedule prepared by the ICC alongwith other Cricket Boards which decides well in advance which country will play how much cricket against whom and where. It is NOT decided few months before a tour BUT a few years in ADVANCE. There you go! I hope you get your facts straight before commenting again on any cricket issues.

    ........This is fantastic news, I hope the pitches will be well prepared...Would love to see Viru and ABD battle it out. Both are my favourite players. Well done BCCI. 1 vs. 2 Wow!!! Can't wait!

  • tfjones1978 on December 11, 2009, 11:11 GMT

    Its excellent that BCCI has honored the cricketting world by playing more matches against contendors for the crown. However, I believe the underlying problem with cricket in general is the belief that 2 boards in modern day will come to an arrangement that benefits the sport. The ICC needs to fully take over ALL scheduling of tours and organise a full multi-tier test championship over 2-4 years. It is unfair that cricket still is under the misbelief that boards will do whats in the best interest of the game. Cricket is business, which means boards main focus now days is on sales. BCCI was pressured into including test matches against the main rival for test #1, a series which risks alot of points for India, and thus $$ if they loose (luckly they are playing in India).

  • yaseenk2002 on December 11, 2009, 11:05 GMT

    I would have liked at least 3 matches and preferably 4 matches.. But something is better than nothing!

  • BHASKERJ on December 11, 2009, 11:03 GMT

    This is a good move , I always thought SA were scheduled for a test tour in Feb 10. I think BCCI should propose 3 Tests , that way the series is worth the Top 2 team in the world . Playing only 2Tests , means if you lose 1st test , there is no coming back . Also the last test series ended in 1-1 draw , so if India loses 1st test , we know whats going to happen in the 2nd ( like Kanpur 2008) .

  • Shash28 on December 11, 2009, 11:01 GMT

    encuraging but 2-Test series is a farce...

  • PienkZuit on December 11, 2009, 10:47 GMT

    We're probably going to have two more shocking pitches for this series, like the last time South Africa toured in India. SA was ahead 1-0 with 1 test to play, and then the Indians prepared a shocker of a wicket to make sure they square the series. Don't fool yourself, the no 1 and no 2 teams played against each other earlier in the year when South Africa played Australia. India is not even in the top 3 teams, never mind what the rankings say. They don't win away from home on quality pitches. South Africa and Australia regularly do.

  • BHASKERJ on December 11, 2009, 10:41 GMT

    This is a good move , I always thought SA were scheduled for a test tour in Feb 10. I think BCCI should propose 3 Tests , that way the series is worth the Top 2 team in the world . Playing only 2Tests , means if you lose 1st test , there is no coming back . Also the last test series ended in 1-1 draw , so if India loses 1st test , we know whats going to happen in the 2nd ( like Kanpur 2008) .

  • Percy_Fender on December 11, 2009, 10:41 GMT

    The BCCI should be congratulated for their latest initiative. The South African Board should be thanked if they accept the new proposal. It comes as a big relief to know that there will be only 3 ODI's in the new itinery. I feel this will lead to greater spectator response for the Tests which is what we all want.Since the two sides are No 1 and No 2 in the rankings, I am sure this series will be really looked forward to. The confrontation between Steyn, Duminy, Devilliers and Peterson and the Indian superstars is indeed a fine prospect. I only hope that the players are match fit and fresh, more so our bowlers so that the matches are even and exciting. In fact I feel we should have a trophy named jointly between two icons of the past of India and South Africa for all future series' between the two sides.Or even some political giants who played a part in bringing back South Africa to the world cricket domain. Possibly from the year 1992 when South Africa visited India first.

  • BHASKERJ on December 11, 2009, 10:41 GMT

    This is a good move , I always thought SA were scheduled for a test tour in Feb 10. I think BCCI should propose 3 Tests , that way the series is worth the Top 2 team in the world . Playing only 2Tests , means if you lose 1st test , there is no coming back . Also the last test series ended in 1-1 draw , so if India loses 1st test , we know whats going to happen in the 2nd ( like Kanpur 2008) .

  • GemsBond on December 11, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    It would be pleasure to watch two top teams battling for the top spot.

  • manasvi_lingam on December 11, 2009, 10:21 GMT

    Well, I'm glad that the BCCI has finally shown the sense to organize more Tests. After all, the Proteas and the Indians (along with the Aussies) are among the top 3 sides in Test cricket. It should prove to be an interesting series. However, 3 ODIs is a little too many and becomes a bit of a lottery.

  • ILoveTestCricket on December 11, 2009, 10:17 GMT

    That's heartening news for "Test" cricket lovers like me. But it is ironic that all this is happening just because India has attained top position in rankings. Why BCCI was so indifferent to this form of cricket otherwise?? They need to show more responsibility towards this game being richest cricketing body or they will doom themselves while trying to kill this goose who is laying golder eggs for them.

  • TwitterJitter on December 11, 2009, 10:00 GMT

    Can someone more intelligent than me explain how BCCI not scheduling tests for team India spells end of test cricket? I am not a smart person like some of you are and hence not able to comprehend it. I can understand the logic that it might spell end of test cricket for India, but how test cricket as a whole, unless all the other boards are also willing partners in it? This whole assumption predicates on the fact that if India does not play a particular format of cricket then that format of cricket is dead, which is absurd. All of these rants about BCCI not scheduling tests usually come from outlets like cricinfo who are predisposed to hate BCCI. If anyone knows the history of scheduling by BCCI most of the scheduling gets done a month or two before and hence it is ridiculous to suggest this early that they won't be playing more than 2 tests in 11 months. But then if the objective is to rant against BCCI, why let facts bother you?

  • AKLO on December 11, 2009, 9:54 GMT

    Well it is great to hear some effort on the part of BCCI...... But again BCCI has misssed the trick...... they should have scrapped all 5 ODIs and just have full test series of 3 or 4 matches and marketed as a SHOWDOWN between No 1 and No. 2 team in the world!!!! that would have been really fantastic test series in front of packed stadiums if test matches are played at regular venue like Eden Gardens in kolkata, Chenna, Banglore, and Mumbai.

  • joey81 on December 11, 2009, 9:52 GMT

    Since India become No 1, Test will find more viewers and sponsors.

  • Arsh on December 11, 2009, 9:48 GMT

    Glad to hear that. BCCI is not all evil, you know.

  • Parth_Pala on December 11, 2009, 9:39 GMT

    Well it seems public pressure does get to even the BCCI. Thank to for one responsible journalism in Indian papers and media who criticised the BCCI , rightly, for being greedy and apathetic towards Indian cricket, have finally done justice to their influence . Hope these tests go ahead will be great entertainment at least to see the two best sides in the world go head to head.

  • cricketgods on December 11, 2009, 9:26 GMT

    this is welcome.as a indian fan i would love to see india playing 2 more tests with south africa.but south africa must ask for good sporting pitches which last atleast for 4 days unlike kanpur in last tour and are not sleeping beauties.something like brabourne will do.

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  • cricketgods on December 11, 2009, 9:26 GMT

    this is welcome.as a indian fan i would love to see india playing 2 more tests with south africa.but south africa must ask for good sporting pitches which last atleast for 4 days unlike kanpur in last tour and are not sleeping beauties.something like brabourne will do.

  • Parth_Pala on December 11, 2009, 9:39 GMT

    Well it seems public pressure does get to even the BCCI. Thank to for one responsible journalism in Indian papers and media who criticised the BCCI , rightly, for being greedy and apathetic towards Indian cricket, have finally done justice to their influence . Hope these tests go ahead will be great entertainment at least to see the two best sides in the world go head to head.

  • Arsh on December 11, 2009, 9:48 GMT

    Glad to hear that. BCCI is not all evil, you know.

  • joey81 on December 11, 2009, 9:52 GMT

    Since India become No 1, Test will find more viewers and sponsors.

  • AKLO on December 11, 2009, 9:54 GMT

    Well it is great to hear some effort on the part of BCCI...... But again BCCI has misssed the trick...... they should have scrapped all 5 ODIs and just have full test series of 3 or 4 matches and marketed as a SHOWDOWN between No 1 and No. 2 team in the world!!!! that would have been really fantastic test series in front of packed stadiums if test matches are played at regular venue like Eden Gardens in kolkata, Chenna, Banglore, and Mumbai.

  • TwitterJitter on December 11, 2009, 10:00 GMT

    Can someone more intelligent than me explain how BCCI not scheduling tests for team India spells end of test cricket? I am not a smart person like some of you are and hence not able to comprehend it. I can understand the logic that it might spell end of test cricket for India, but how test cricket as a whole, unless all the other boards are also willing partners in it? This whole assumption predicates on the fact that if India does not play a particular format of cricket then that format of cricket is dead, which is absurd. All of these rants about BCCI not scheduling tests usually come from outlets like cricinfo who are predisposed to hate BCCI. If anyone knows the history of scheduling by BCCI most of the scheduling gets done a month or two before and hence it is ridiculous to suggest this early that they won't be playing more than 2 tests in 11 months. But then if the objective is to rant against BCCI, why let facts bother you?

  • ILoveTestCricket on December 11, 2009, 10:17 GMT

    That's heartening news for "Test" cricket lovers like me. But it is ironic that all this is happening just because India has attained top position in rankings. Why BCCI was so indifferent to this form of cricket otherwise?? They need to show more responsibility towards this game being richest cricketing body or they will doom themselves while trying to kill this goose who is laying golder eggs for them.

  • manasvi_lingam on December 11, 2009, 10:21 GMT

    Well, I'm glad that the BCCI has finally shown the sense to organize more Tests. After all, the Proteas and the Indians (along with the Aussies) are among the top 3 sides in Test cricket. It should prove to be an interesting series. However, 3 ODIs is a little too many and becomes a bit of a lottery.

  • GemsBond on December 11, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    It would be pleasure to watch two top teams battling for the top spot.

  • BHASKERJ on December 11, 2009, 10:41 GMT

    This is a good move , I always thought SA were scheduled for a test tour in Feb 10. I think BCCI should propose 3 Tests , that way the series is worth the Top 2 team in the world . Playing only 2Tests , means if you lose 1st test , there is no coming back . Also the last test series ended in 1-1 draw , so if India loses 1st test , we know whats going to happen in the 2nd ( like Kanpur 2008) .