The Investec Ashes 2013 July 22, 2013

T20 'chipping away' at Test skills - Gooch

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Graham Gooch has spelled out something that no one at Cricket Australia is prepared to publicly say - Twenty20 is "chipping away" at the skills required of Test batsmen, and Gooch, England's batting coach, works every day to ensure his men are not eroded as Australia's have been.

In the aftermath of the Lord's Test, the England captain, Alastair Cook, spoke warmly of Gooch, a figure often derided in Australia for his travails during the 1989 Ashes series but an exemplar of diligence, patience and commitment to the art of run-making. Joe Root's pivotal 180 after Australia's batsmen had surrendered their first innings for a paltry 128 was a 21st century facsimile of many a Gooch innings, and the mentor said multiple formats had made it ever more difficult to foster such patience among young batsmen.

"There's three formats of the game now … the basis of Test cricket is that it's a hell of a long game, five times 90 overs is a long, long game," Gooch said. "So it's about skills in batting, about run-making, about the whole package of not only having the technical skills but having the attitude, the mental toughness, the discipline, and the concentration. Anyone can concentrate for 15-20 minutes, but to score Test hundreds you have to concentrate for a long period of time. Those skills I think worldwide are being chipped away at the edges by the amount of one-day cricket and T20 cricket.

"If you're a traditionalist and like Test cricket and think that's the pinnacle and the benchmark, you know you can see with the number of competitions that are popping up and the rewards that are available in terms of finance … the possibility of it chipping away at the edges of the traditional game, and that's the same for every country. You've got to work hard to try to keep your players on track and obviously try to educate them as well as you can on the skills and the mental skills that are necessary to bat long. It's a different type of skill."

While it is clear that at the present moment England are successfully developing batsmen of the requisite obstinacy and technical purity to survive for long periods, Gooch spoke of the need for eternal vigilance to ensure that the balance was not lost. He also mentioned the ability of the best players to differentiate between conditions, using the right "tools" for the variety of surfaces offered in England, Australia and the subcontinent.

"Way after I finish this issue will still be alive and kicking," Gooch, who will turn 60 on Tuesday, said. "I'd hate to think that traditional skills get eroded and diluted because the specialist spinner, the specialist fast bowler, the skills of the batsmen are, for me, what make the game so great. Playing on a surface like here [Lord's], or the SCG or Brisbane or Perth where it bounces. A batsman to score runs needs different skills for different wickets, and as a batsman and run-maker you have different tools in the bag, but you don't take all the tools out every time you play."

As for the magnitude of England's victory, earning the hosts a 2-0 series lead that has only ever been overhauled once in the history of all Ashes contests, Gooch said some of his pupils would not fully appreciate it until later years. On the topic of Australia he was taciturn, but left ample room for the results to speak for themselves.

"I think we suffered quite a lot [in the past], I did manage to win the Ashes three times actually but I did suffer quite a lot," Gooch said. "I don't know how some of them would know the historical significance, some probably wouldn't. I think mainly they're interested in winning each match they come up against. Australia are giving it their best, it's not for me to comment on their performance, that's down to their management and their system. We try to get our players in the best possible condition to win."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • landl47 on July 23, 2013, 0:59 GMT

    Gooch is a wise man and he knows that the skills required for T20 and those required for test cricket are as different as the attributes needed by a 100m sprinter and a marathon runner. It's a different game played with the same equipment.

    Unless the skills needed for test cricket are continually honed, they will wither away. So what, you might say (and a number of posters do say that on these boards). The problem is precisely what CA thinks is an advantage- the T20 audience is not a cricket audience. It is made up of people who either don't understand or don't appreciate cricket. They are looking for a quick few hours entertainment and, as with all such audiences, they will get bored and move on to something else. Then, unless the real cricket has been preserved, there will be nothing.

    While there are real cricket fans like most of those posting on these boards, the game is safe. But we're going to get old (some of us already are!) and we need new blood to take over.

  • RichardG on July 22, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Let us not forget, however, that the star of the test just gone - Joe Root - is a good T20 player, and was very effective for Yorkshire's team last season that finished runners-up in the domestic tournament. T20 is in its infancy. Eventually, players will adapt to play both T20 and test stuff (OK, so Root was out to the shot, but you wouldn't have seen a player attempting that scoop in test cricket even 15 years ago).

    As a keen student of cricketing history, the longer form of the game has been written off more times than I care to remember. It has survived the advent of TV, wars, the World Series, one-day cricket and various other threats. Tests will co-exist with T20 in the decades to come, and very probably be more exciting because of its existence.

  • subbass on July 25, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    " pietersen is 35"

    Really ? Damn it, my maths needs improving. :p

  • Beertjie on July 23, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    Well said @Yevghenny on (July 23, 2013, 8:41 GMT) However, changing weather patterns in Australia have also contributed to the lack of decent pitches for Shield. That said, the points structure has lead states to focus on getting results by manufacturing 'result' wickets. So, it's by no means only an issue of format skills, Gooch. The failure of batting is both a generational as well as a structural issue. It will take time to turn around; how long is anyone's guess.

  • AngryAngy on July 23, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    Fundamentally though, would you pick the Australian batsmen to build a T20 team? Yes, there's Watson. Smith has come along lately. That's it. Clarke, Rogers, Cowan and Khawaja all scarcely know how to play it. Hughes is okay, no better than Trott . Haddin and Wade both like to have a swing, but tend to play outside their limits; both also more noted for their Test batting. The only context for this BBL furore is that a swathe of better players might exist in Australia, only to have failed to use their ability to play first class cricket and earn promotion into the Test squad.

    I mean it is more likely that the likes of Cowan got out poking at wide balls because you can't improve the totals without making runs. Clarke went out in the 4th innings at Lords with intent and lasted a fair bit longer than Rogers, whose stoic refusal to play a shot cost him his off stump.

    Clarke is perhaps more hardened, but most mortals do have to deal with pressure. The Australian team is under a lot of it.

  • Puffin on July 23, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    I agree with Gooch to a point, but a batsman of great skill should be able to adapt his game to suit the situation, and there are occasional run chases in test cricket which do resemble one day and even perhaps T20 cricket, so decent players ought not to worry much about concentrating on one game at the expense of the other. Also there are many historical players who it should be recognized would readily do well in any form of cricket.

    That's a roundabout way of saying overall batting skill levels are not so good atm in the Australian side. And admitting perhaps T20 is growing away from test cricket, another difficult issue.

  • py0alb on July 23, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    To suggest that a T20 audience is not a cricket audience shows a disgraceful level of ignorance. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable cricket audiences are able to appreciate all three formats of the game. The fact that they go to county matches where they are probably neutral observers suggest that they are more interested in and knowledgeable about the nuances of the game than your average one-eyed barmy army fan in attendance at the test series.

    Up to a certain level, say the top amateur level, the skills required for T20 and Test Cricket batting are largely identical. Beyond that point, they start to diverge dramatically, and promising young batsmen need to choose to focus on one or the other. The thing that england have got right and Australia wrong is in ensuring that the right paths are taken by the right players and the talent is spread evenly between the two distributions.

  • on July 23, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    t20 should have been a domestic and never an international thing t20 at international stage is a joke with good players at test level coming and trying to play stupid shots cricket should be test and 50 overs thats it to be honest if india had not won the 2007 t20 wc t20 would not have really taken off ipl and all other t20 tournaments are a joke

  • Yevghenny on July 23, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    australian cricket seems to be in the mindset that it can just score 4+ an over anywhere on any pitch simply by "trusting your natural game" - these guys natural game is to get a quick 30 and get out

  • BigDataIsAHoax on July 23, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    Absolutely HATE T20 cricket. Gooch is 100% right about diminishing batting abilities. There is a direct correlation of that with the number of t20 games being played of late. A simple distribution analysis of number of balls faced by top order batsmen in test matches pre 2007 and post 2007 will prove what Gooch is trying to say.

  • landl47 on July 23, 2013, 0:59 GMT

    Gooch is a wise man and he knows that the skills required for T20 and those required for test cricket are as different as the attributes needed by a 100m sprinter and a marathon runner. It's a different game played with the same equipment.

    Unless the skills needed for test cricket are continually honed, they will wither away. So what, you might say (and a number of posters do say that on these boards). The problem is precisely what CA thinks is an advantage- the T20 audience is not a cricket audience. It is made up of people who either don't understand or don't appreciate cricket. They are looking for a quick few hours entertainment and, as with all such audiences, they will get bored and move on to something else. Then, unless the real cricket has been preserved, there will be nothing.

    While there are real cricket fans like most of those posting on these boards, the game is safe. But we're going to get old (some of us already are!) and we need new blood to take over.

  • RichardG on July 22, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Let us not forget, however, that the star of the test just gone - Joe Root - is a good T20 player, and was very effective for Yorkshire's team last season that finished runners-up in the domestic tournament. T20 is in its infancy. Eventually, players will adapt to play both T20 and test stuff (OK, so Root was out to the shot, but you wouldn't have seen a player attempting that scoop in test cricket even 15 years ago).

    As a keen student of cricketing history, the longer form of the game has been written off more times than I care to remember. It has survived the advent of TV, wars, the World Series, one-day cricket and various other threats. Tests will co-exist with T20 in the decades to come, and very probably be more exciting because of its existence.

  • subbass on July 25, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    " pietersen is 35"

    Really ? Damn it, my maths needs improving. :p

  • Beertjie on July 23, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    Well said @Yevghenny on (July 23, 2013, 8:41 GMT) However, changing weather patterns in Australia have also contributed to the lack of decent pitches for Shield. That said, the points structure has lead states to focus on getting results by manufacturing 'result' wickets. So, it's by no means only an issue of format skills, Gooch. The failure of batting is both a generational as well as a structural issue. It will take time to turn around; how long is anyone's guess.

  • AngryAngy on July 23, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    Fundamentally though, would you pick the Australian batsmen to build a T20 team? Yes, there's Watson. Smith has come along lately. That's it. Clarke, Rogers, Cowan and Khawaja all scarcely know how to play it. Hughes is okay, no better than Trott . Haddin and Wade both like to have a swing, but tend to play outside their limits; both also more noted for their Test batting. The only context for this BBL furore is that a swathe of better players might exist in Australia, only to have failed to use their ability to play first class cricket and earn promotion into the Test squad.

    I mean it is more likely that the likes of Cowan got out poking at wide balls because you can't improve the totals without making runs. Clarke went out in the 4th innings at Lords with intent and lasted a fair bit longer than Rogers, whose stoic refusal to play a shot cost him his off stump.

    Clarke is perhaps more hardened, but most mortals do have to deal with pressure. The Australian team is under a lot of it.

  • Puffin on July 23, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    I agree with Gooch to a point, but a batsman of great skill should be able to adapt his game to suit the situation, and there are occasional run chases in test cricket which do resemble one day and even perhaps T20 cricket, so decent players ought not to worry much about concentrating on one game at the expense of the other. Also there are many historical players who it should be recognized would readily do well in any form of cricket.

    That's a roundabout way of saying overall batting skill levels are not so good atm in the Australian side. And admitting perhaps T20 is growing away from test cricket, another difficult issue.

  • py0alb on July 23, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    To suggest that a T20 audience is not a cricket audience shows a disgraceful level of ignorance. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable cricket audiences are able to appreciate all three formats of the game. The fact that they go to county matches where they are probably neutral observers suggest that they are more interested in and knowledgeable about the nuances of the game than your average one-eyed barmy army fan in attendance at the test series.

    Up to a certain level, say the top amateur level, the skills required for T20 and Test Cricket batting are largely identical. Beyond that point, they start to diverge dramatically, and promising young batsmen need to choose to focus on one or the other. The thing that england have got right and Australia wrong is in ensuring that the right paths are taken by the right players and the talent is spread evenly between the two distributions.

  • on July 23, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    t20 should have been a domestic and never an international thing t20 at international stage is a joke with good players at test level coming and trying to play stupid shots cricket should be test and 50 overs thats it to be honest if india had not won the 2007 t20 wc t20 would not have really taken off ipl and all other t20 tournaments are a joke

  • Yevghenny on July 23, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    australian cricket seems to be in the mindset that it can just score 4+ an over anywhere on any pitch simply by "trusting your natural game" - these guys natural game is to get a quick 30 and get out

  • BigDataIsAHoax on July 23, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    Absolutely HATE T20 cricket. Gooch is 100% right about diminishing batting abilities. There is a direct correlation of that with the number of t20 games being played of late. A simple distribution analysis of number of balls faced by top order batsmen in test matches pre 2007 and post 2007 will prove what Gooch is trying to say.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 23, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    @pulkit10, I agree T20 is not the root cause, and it is true that players of an older generation did adapt to the new format, however they still had the longer format experience to fall back on.

    where as what gooch is saying is that this new generation dont have that experience in the longer format and so find it more difficult to an build an innings as they need to apply themselves for longer.

    I do think that it has helped tail enders come out and get useful runs at the end of the game as we've seen in the last few series sometimes games rest on these innings.

  • gibboj on July 23, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    @hayagriva, a result doesn't make a match. Remember SA vs Australia in Aus where faf du plessis batted out the innings for a draw. Very very good match, no result.

  • on July 23, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    England has succeeded after years of failure. while australia was busy dominating the world cricket. winning matches after matches. england were busy building their team.Australians are now in the same place where england were 10 years back.

  • BLACK-BIRDS on July 23, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    Ya....T-20 cricket is hurting real skill of cricket...

  • pulkit10 on July 23, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    Classic English point of view. "This T20 business isn't great, after all" - well, no. He's correct in pointing out that Test cricket requires a different mindset than T20 but to to lay the blame on one format is nothing short of foolish. Maybe his point is a little muddled by this article but can't blame me.

    Point is, technically sound players can succeed in every format and many players have shown that. Even someone like Rahul Dravid worked hard and transitioned well into both ODIs and T20s - that's ought to mean something. Both formats have a role to fulfill...an overdose of either won't be great.

    Oz batsmen are technically flawed. It has less to do with the advent of T20 and more to do with the mismanagement by CA. Strike a balance here - T20 leagues want reliable, sound players too, make them see the benefits in getting the fundamentals right. Has a lot to do with the system itself, not just external factors.

  • AjaySridharan on July 23, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    T20 is a monster concocted by the English Cricket Board! Ironic that one of their own have to make this observation. Not quite unlike Britain's war history...they ruled most of the world and left them in shambles before packing up and going back home!

  • on July 23, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    T20 and Test teams should be almost totally different except 2 or 3 bowlers who can also bat. Six or seven test batsmen should not be from mT20 team. Probably this applies to bowlers too. The two games are toatally different and needs toatlkly different players. Hope test players get finacial benefit what T20 players get. This is for the ICC to look into. Rugby analogy sounds good. Different horses for different games.

  • redneck on July 23, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    @Chaudry_Cricket yes believe it or not the rest of the world is aware that T20 is No.1 in india!!! however india is not australia or england for that matter and seeing as this is the ashes lets leave the spot light on england and aus!!! ill stand corrected if proven wrong but in aus the highest attended day of cricket is the boxing day test! it is also the most watched day of cricket on australian tv! i can recall pretty much recall the last test series aus has played vs everyother test nation both home and away. even non aus tests i recon i could give a fair crack. however i couldnt even tell you who australias last T20 match was against! i can tell you punter toped the runs list in the last shefield shield, i wouldnt have a clue who took out the big bash equivilent! maybe im different to the normal cricket lover in aus but i actually think im a dime a dozen here maybe im deluded but to me test cricket is king down under and T20 no one remembers because no one cares!!!

  • CustomKid on July 23, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    @ Well said Goochy.

    As an Aussie the points are pretty valid. Clarke resists T20 and is a quality bat, the rest well the less you say the better and all play T20.

    The scary thing is the CA often base their test selections on the form of T20 and ODI's!

    There is long term pain for many years to come. $$$ and incentives need to be taken away from T20 and put toward shield and test. Show them the money they will come. At the moment you can make more in 6 weeks than you can for a whole year of regular 1st class cricket. How is that right and what sort of results do they expect when almost all players are driven by $$$$?

  • on July 23, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Have to agree with Gooch here...especially the mental factor...wish Test cricket could be given the same Financial Backing....

  • Clyde on July 23, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    The basic requirement for a batsman is to be able to stay in all day and prove that he can. As I understand it - and from reading some excellent things on Cricinfo - Australia does not give as many opportunities as, say, England or and India, for batsmen to practise this and prove they can do it. Hence, the Test selectors are at a loss. Some people don't seem to realise batting for long periods is difficult, sometimes agonising and sometimes terrifying. Having 'potential' or 'hitting the ball well' have little to do with it. One of the best batsmen in the game today is Katich, and he exemplifies the qualities required for Tests. Certainly the shorter forms may have helped Test-match ability, but what is more telling is that the most important Test-match ability, grit and determination, does not transfer to the shorter forms. Hence, if Australia's administrators prefer the short forms the country's great Test history is going to be severely damaged.

  • on July 23, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    @R_U_4_Real_Nick - agree completely. Good test players do well in all formats. There are a lot of players doing well in ODI's but are poor in tests, but the opposite is hardly true. Even VVS Laxman did very well in ODI's against Australia (who had the best bowling). Infact the same transition applies from ODI's to T20 - as mentioned by ian chappel. guys like mahela and sanga are much more successful than pollard, or afridi in batting in T20's.

  • hayagriva on July 23, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    I have to disagree with Goochie... It is T20 that has allowed for so many of the current generations stars to emerge on the international scene. It is also the T20 that has allowed for batsmen to improvise and ensure results in the games. Just check how many of the games in the last year have actually had results... and compare it with the period in the pre-T20 era and see how many boring draws were there.

  • Un_Citoyen_Indien on July 23, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    @ Clive_Dunn: Big agree there mate.

    @ Tansher Singh: Big disagree.

  • Iddo555 on July 22, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    I always thought one day cricket would be the one to vanish into history and I still think it will be. I don't see the need for 2 short formats, there should be one long format (Test cricket) and one short format for a bit of fun and entertainment over a few hours (T20) The one day 50 over format sits in the middle and for me doesn't really have a place anymore

    I'm not a big fan of either T20 or one day 50 over cricket but I understand some are, plus if it gets young people interested in cricket and brings money to the game, then why not?

    For me, test cricket is king, it's the real test of a player and a team. Players are judged on their test careers, not their 20/20 or one day careers. If you want to know who the best bowlers are or have been you look at test stats, the stats in other formats don't come into it.

  • Vishnz on July 22, 2013, 23:26 GMT

    Going back to the Rugby analogy, I don't hear anyone saying test rugby will disappear because of the advent of sevens! Sevens are about mass entertainment (witness all the fancy clothes (unclothes), booze etc etc.) not about rugby at all. Similarly, T20s are for mass entertainment and not for the cricket purists. Give me a tense full five day test that ends in a close draw any day over crash / bash T20. Unfortunately, a lot of players bring that T20 attitude to tests. They are, in effect, two different games and requrie two different sets of players. The rare one may perform well in both but that is more the exception than the rule!

  • MinusZero on July 22, 2013, 22:48 GMT

    Absolutely agree, only England and India seem to be able to manage T20 and the longer game well. T20 is destroying patience required for tests.

  • RohanMarkJay on July 22, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    Absolutely! Well Said Gooch. I was thinking exactly the same thing. Right there one can see why England is doing better than Australia. Gooch is advising England with his cricketing wisdom and its paying rich dividends. Long live the Ashes and long live Test Cricket. I wish T20 would go away. Only one day cricket and tests should be allowed.

  • Natx on July 22, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    So much I used to like test cricket, nowadays I find it hard to watch it for 5 days. Like many others said, the world has moved on from the radio era to the iPhone era and beyond. But we are still talking about a game that is more than 100 years old. Those old days, one didn't have the same work & family pressures as of today and happily had time to sit back, relax and watch cricket for 6 days (with a rest day!). Do you think my or anyone's manager on these postings will give permission to watch 3 days of test cricket (considering the other 2 days are during the weekends)? That too to watch these one sided nonsenses? Come on, grow up. May be there is still plenty of time in Eng & Aus for everyone, but not everywhere else. Best way forward is to cut the tests to 2 days (preferably weekends) and play 50 overs an innings. Also remove the 1-dayers and just have the 2 formats (2 day tests & T20's). Otherwise, test cricket will become history in 5-10 years time.

  • harishk8006 on July 22, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    poor comments, from Gooch....its not t-20 which is failing batsmen in test cricket....in fact t-20 has helped batsmen to unearth, previously undiscovered scoring areas.....its the batsmen failing to perform in test matches....blaming on something is very easy...but not reasonable and sensible.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 22, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    Gooch does may several valid points in regards to mental strength disappearing from the game but to be honest its been around a lot longer than T20, and probably started with ODI's where the emphasis fell on Strike rate rather than occupation.

    This makes players get slack, a case in point is Morgan who is a very good ODI/T20 player, however hes very loose outside the offstump looking to open the face and run the ball down through the slips, whcih is fine when there are no slips in tests you will normally have at least 1 slip maybe 2 all the time.

    The trick was to find a happy medium and only a few players have done that, SRT, Lara, Ponting, Gilchrist to name a few.

    I can see only two possible courses, 1) Boards start to emphasise the 4 day format at domestic level to get players concentration levels up, as per India and England, 2) They let the 4 day competition slide as has started in Aus, WI and other places.

    I hope CA start to focus on the 4 day game.

  • Vishnz on July 22, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    I am happy that a high profile ex-player has called it as it is: T20 is a mixed-bag as far as influence on other forms is concerned. Yes, it brings in the cash. It has definitely improved the fielding skills and the ability to think on your feet and change approaches. However, it has been a negative impact on two key aspects of test cricket: ability to concentrate and bat session by session, and the ability of bowlers to use the conditions to educe errors from class batsmen. Being from NZ I will compare T20 to the Sevens form of Rugby. Just because someone is good at Sevens does not make them an All Black, but does not preclude them from being one. Persoanlly, I would prefer if countries had separate T20 teams and use the ODIs to identify players who can move to test level.

  • Clive_Dunn on July 22, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    If you think T20 cricket has ruined the techniques of decent batsmen then compare Joe Root's sweeping, reverse sweeping and ramping his way towards his double, to Graeme Hicks painstaking progress towards a ton in Australia before Atherton declared on him at 98 n.o. I think the modern batsmen looks to score in areas unheard of 20 years ago and thats of huge benefit to test cricket. This Australian top order is just rubbish, and would have been rubbish 20 years ago. It's clearly easier to blame the new format rather than admitting the cyclical nature of sport.

  • on July 22, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    I couldn't agree more. A team with bigger bats and stronger players wins a t20 , but the better team wins a test. Repeated block-hole bowling and 'innovative' shots are only ruining the game of cricket.

  • ballsintherightareas on July 22, 2013, 20:00 GMT

    England has two batting coaches - Graham Gooch for tests and Graham Thorpe. Gooch was the third highest run scorer in test history when he retired. He once scored a triple hundred. Thorpe also played a hundred tests and stood out as England's only really tough-minded batsman through an era of dismal team performances. Both played around the globe in all conditions, through the thick and thin of international cricket. Both have been coaching for quite a few years now, including several years with the England team and performance squad.

    Australia have one batting coach - Michael Di Venutio. He played nine ODIs for Australia. He's been in place since just before Australia's tour of India.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 22, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    Test players can sometimes do well in T20's, but it seems T20 players NEVER make it in tests. That is why some of the older players/teams (e.g. SA) do well in both formats, but younger players/teams (e.g. Aus.) are not doing so well in tests (I mean Warner/Hughes etc. - is anybody seriously surprised?).

  • palla.avinash on July 22, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    Allow all England play full ipl season for 2 years and other t20 leagues if possible see how good test team they will remain.ECB is protecting its players from t20 leagues to remain top in tests ,only few sa players are plying in ipl so it isnt effecting them much Australian players are much attracted to the demand t20s and are moving towards them and cricket Australia failed them to remain focus on test skills.who knows how much shane watson loves test cricket as he loved before.England is lucky there season collides with ipl other wise it would be different example eion morgan played full ipl season and failed in tests later only natural attacking players like kp and devillers can take it as kallis is getting enough rest and experience he is still capable of maintain g ipl and tests balanced with rest he gets.As sa plays few matches they were able to get away from ipl fatigue but not Australia,Indian players who play large amount of ipl so i say too much t20 is affecting teams.

  • harishk8006 on July 22, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    World is moving at a fast pace.....but cricket has not been in the last 50 years.....reason reluctance of promoting t-20 cricket whle heartedly, fearing test cricket will become history....on the flip side.....if priorities are ignored...cricket may become history

  • on July 22, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    Sorry Mr. Gooch, but I have to disagree. While I am not a T20 fan, I don't attribute test cricket's shortcomings to the game's shortest format. On the contrary, T20 cricket has revitalised test cricket in that we now have more entertaining tests and guaranteed results. Batsmen score their runs quickly and bowlers are not worried about runs being scored against them. I think it ultimately comes down to the individuals. No matter how we look at it, England's batsmen applied themselves well and batted appropriately. Batsmen like Cook, Trott, Ian Bell, and Root are very good limited overs players as well. That hasn't affected them in test cricket one bit. Australia's batsmen simply lack the nerves, and mindset to occupy the crease for long. That can be corrected IF they acknowledge their problems and are willing to come out of self denial. T20 cricket can remain in the background. It's a small entity which can never destroy test cricket.

  • bford1921 on July 22, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    Clearly T20 has some kind of impact, but it need not be negative. The issue is discipline and the Australians are lacking this at present, how they leave the ball, how they look to protect the wicket, along with scoring runs. Gooch is clear that the England players work hard on building an innings. In terms of players doing well at test level, nothing is going to beat hard first class games, and in England a lot is still played, regardless of when. This is progress. Always disappointed at those who think T20 is better, it is easier, to both play and clearly watch, but it is not better. Test cricket is the most thrilling and challenging format, players are measured by test match numbers. Tendulkar is a great test player first and foremost, and I don't consider either Chris Gayle or David Warner to be better players based on T20 performance.

  • on July 22, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    Australia need to make plenty of changes to win the ashes downunder. david warner, alex doolan, shaun marsh, tim paine, fawad ahmed and chadd sayers should be picked ahead of phil hughes, ed cowan, shane Watson, Mitchell starc, ashton agar and chris rogers. usman khawaja, Michael Clarke, brad haddin, peter siddle, ryan harris, and Jackson bird should be retained fro the current ashes squad.

  • on July 22, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    cricket fans don't count Australia out just yet. Australia are in a rebuilding phase having lost ponting and hussey. they have some good young players coming through like alex doolan, Jordan silk, nic maddinson, pat cummins, adam zampa, chadd sayers. these players will be ready to play international cricket after full season of domestic cricket. England have been performing very well but they rely too heavily on Anderson and swann. their players have plenty of experience cook, trott , bell, pietersen, prior, broad, swann and Anderson. joe root is the only player who has shown ability to perform but the rest are very average. Anderson is in his 30's, swann is almost 35, pietersen is 35, trott is 32, cook is 29, bell is 30. England will loose 4 players in the next 3 years time while Australia will have young players ready. England enjoy ur ashes success but in 3 years time Australia will show who the king is.

  • Chaudry_Cricket on July 22, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    T - 20 is the most popular format and theres nothing much you can do about it. It is really hard to make youngsters value test cricket over t-20. And especially in the subcontinent where there is no value for tests at all. All they want to watch is t-20 so hence most youngsters prefer t-20 and yes it is true a lot of teams are struggling in the test arena because simply there is too much t-20. Test cricket is almost dead in the subcontinent. P.s I am someone who considers test the pinnacle of cricket but due to my team hardly playing tests I have to watch other nations play tests

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 22, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    It is surely time to look at all the room we give to t20 in our fixtures. It is surely nigh on criminal that no player or reserve can get a decent knock or bowl before Manchester, and thereafter before the Oval. It is unreal, sad and a total disservice to our team as the ECB have been prepared to let Tests be a hostage to fortune. These are the prime months of the season, yet 1st class games are consigned to April, May, late August and September while t20 occupies the best bits. It is like handing over control over one's own life to the delivery boy or the daily help or the dustmen. This is a total miasma to our game and needs stopping NOW. t20 started out because a particular 40 over game was shortened to 20 overs and turmed out to be fun. But 20 over cricket is not always fun, but a formularised bore all too often. It's okay for the kids but hardly for real watchers. Cut it down to size before it ruins our game, instead of too late.

  • on July 22, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    T20 has most definitely turned things around here in Australia. What we have seen so far in the Ashes tests are one team playing excellent test match cricket and another than doesn't know its knee from its elbow about what it's supposed to do, how it's supposed to perform, *what it's all about*. Australian cricket doesn't know what it is anymore or needs to be. Upper management has not been as discerning as England, which thankfully has maintained Test cricket as the primary and most important of all cricketing formats. And thank God for that...

  • sharidas on July 22, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    As youngsters, no one plays the long format. If one has got the basics right, i.e.: knowing that defense is the best offense, then I do not see that it matters which format you play. Too much has been said that the shorter game spoils the youngsters. It could be true if they started off playing only the shorter version.

  • maddy20 on July 22, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    SA players play in more T20 leagues than anyone else? How come they are still good? Not just the serniors but even new-comers like Faf , Swashbucklers like AB are able to reign in their urge to play reckless T-20 shots. If anything is to be blamed here its their domestic cricketing structure about which I have read infinite number of articles. Besides having too many all-rounders in a test squad can only mean what we have seen in the first tests. Pick 6 batsmen, 1 WK who CAN bat and 4 bowlers or 5bats-1 Allrounder WK and 4 Bowlers. What ever happened to this formula which is still employed by various top teams?

  • strikeforce2003 on July 22, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    Really not true Gooch. T20 instead hones a batsman's respond to more stroke playing options..it's the impatience of a test bat that gets him out, not the format

  • CricketChat on July 22, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    Gooch's assessment is right on the money. T20s will continue to erode into popularity of tests and ODIs in the coming years. Unless boards make a concerted effort to keep tests alive, they will slowly fade away. Players are obviously adopting techniques that suit shorter formats and where the riches lie.

  • Game_Gazer on July 22, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    so true & sensible from gooch !

  • Cyril_Knight on July 22, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    Lots of people are writing about the technique of batsmen this summer, more so than I can remember. Always about poor technique. Root being too back foot. Bairstow missing straight balls. Hughes having none whatsoever. Many writers seek to blame T20 for this. I think wrongly.

    I posted on another article the number of T20 matches played by England's young batters and Australia's. England's have played far, far more, yet the techniques of Root and Bairstow are not as horrible as those of Hughes, Warner and Khawaja.

    Watson's technique has not been damaged by T20 it is just more exposed at the top of the order facing the moving ball.

    The biggest difference, I see, is in the quality and consistency of practice that young cricketers get in England. Last week we saw Ben Foakes subbing at Trent Bridge and also netting with Gooch, for example. These young batsmen choose to focus on developing their all round game. Why doesn't everyone?

  • chitti_cricket on July 22, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    Mr. Gooch, this is known fact to every one. At least to every cricket lover. But that T-20 format is very popular and is very much needed for cricket to grow and is reality in this fast paced world. For all purists of cricket who want test cricket to stay and exist, they have to find different means to make test cricket to exist by fielding separate players to different formats of game, like specialists. If we think same T-20 players like Warner, Smith, Marsh and Watson (yes Watson) to excel at test level then we are dreaming. Other batters like Australia, India, Pakistan, WestIndies all are that modeled only, and they can never win true test crciekt or they play even test cricket like T-20. I dont see these players even batting a day, you are seeing that in one day cricket itself. Just to make every one realize this, I bet this all conquering England and SA teams at test levels, wil be a misserble failures at Instant cricket, they won' win any limited overs tornaments with consistency

  • chitti_cricket on July 22, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    Mr. Gooch, this is known fact to every one. At least to every cricket lover. But that T-20 format is very popular and is very much needed for cricket to grow and is reality in this fast paced world. For all purists of cricket who want test cricket to stay and exist, they have to find different means to make test cricket to exist by fielding separate players to different formats of game, like specialists. If we think same T-20 players like Warner, Smith, Marsh and Watson (yes Watson) to excel at test level then we are dreaming. Other batters like Australia, India, Pakistan, WestIndies all are that modeled only, and they can never win true test crciekt or they play even test cricket like T-20. I dont see these players even batting a day, you are seeing that in one day cricket itself. Just to make every one realize this, I bet this all conquering England and SA teams at test levels, wil be a misserble failures at Instant cricket, they won' win any limited overs tornaments with consistency

  • Cyril_Knight on July 22, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    Lots of people are writing about the technique of batsmen this summer, more so than I can remember. Always about poor technique. Root being too back foot. Bairstow missing straight balls. Hughes having none whatsoever. Many writers seek to blame T20 for this. I think wrongly.

    I posted on another article the number of T20 matches played by England's young batters and Australia's. England's have played far, far more, yet the techniques of Root and Bairstow are not as horrible as those of Hughes, Warner and Khawaja.

    Watson's technique has not been damaged by T20 it is just more exposed at the top of the order facing the moving ball.

    The biggest difference, I see, is in the quality and consistency of practice that young cricketers get in England. Last week we saw Ben Foakes subbing at Trent Bridge and also netting with Gooch, for example. These young batsmen choose to focus on developing their all round game. Why doesn't everyone?

  • Game_Gazer on July 22, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    so true & sensible from gooch !

  • CricketChat on July 22, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    Gooch's assessment is right on the money. T20s will continue to erode into popularity of tests and ODIs in the coming years. Unless boards make a concerted effort to keep tests alive, they will slowly fade away. Players are obviously adopting techniques that suit shorter formats and where the riches lie.

  • strikeforce2003 on July 22, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    Really not true Gooch. T20 instead hones a batsman's respond to more stroke playing options..it's the impatience of a test bat that gets him out, not the format

  • maddy20 on July 22, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    SA players play in more T20 leagues than anyone else? How come they are still good? Not just the serniors but even new-comers like Faf , Swashbucklers like AB are able to reign in their urge to play reckless T-20 shots. If anything is to be blamed here its their domestic cricketing structure about which I have read infinite number of articles. Besides having too many all-rounders in a test squad can only mean what we have seen in the first tests. Pick 6 batsmen, 1 WK who CAN bat and 4 bowlers or 5bats-1 Allrounder WK and 4 Bowlers. What ever happened to this formula which is still employed by various top teams?

  • sharidas on July 22, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    As youngsters, no one plays the long format. If one has got the basics right, i.e.: knowing that defense is the best offense, then I do not see that it matters which format you play. Too much has been said that the shorter game spoils the youngsters. It could be true if they started off playing only the shorter version.

  • on July 22, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    T20 has most definitely turned things around here in Australia. What we have seen so far in the Ashes tests are one team playing excellent test match cricket and another than doesn't know its knee from its elbow about what it's supposed to do, how it's supposed to perform, *what it's all about*. Australian cricket doesn't know what it is anymore or needs to be. Upper management has not been as discerning as England, which thankfully has maintained Test cricket as the primary and most important of all cricketing formats. And thank God for that...

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 22, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    It is surely time to look at all the room we give to t20 in our fixtures. It is surely nigh on criminal that no player or reserve can get a decent knock or bowl before Manchester, and thereafter before the Oval. It is unreal, sad and a total disservice to our team as the ECB have been prepared to let Tests be a hostage to fortune. These are the prime months of the season, yet 1st class games are consigned to April, May, late August and September while t20 occupies the best bits. It is like handing over control over one's own life to the delivery boy or the daily help or the dustmen. This is a total miasma to our game and needs stopping NOW. t20 started out because a particular 40 over game was shortened to 20 overs and turmed out to be fun. But 20 over cricket is not always fun, but a formularised bore all too often. It's okay for the kids but hardly for real watchers. Cut it down to size before it ruins our game, instead of too late.

  • Chaudry_Cricket on July 22, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    T - 20 is the most popular format and theres nothing much you can do about it. It is really hard to make youngsters value test cricket over t-20. And especially in the subcontinent where there is no value for tests at all. All they want to watch is t-20 so hence most youngsters prefer t-20 and yes it is true a lot of teams are struggling in the test arena because simply there is too much t-20. Test cricket is almost dead in the subcontinent. P.s I am someone who considers test the pinnacle of cricket but due to my team hardly playing tests I have to watch other nations play tests