The cricketing world may see the introduction of pink ball as the way forward for the game, but former India opener Virender Sehwag feels that the Test format need not be “changed” so as to make it more popular.
“The Test format is so good that you don’t need to change. You don’t need to bring that pink ball to bring in spectators. If good teams like Pakistan, Australia and England come people will come and support,” Sehwag said at Sportstar’s book launch on India’s 500 Tests.
“We have a very good future looking at the coach and Indian team we have. A lot of small towns will be hosting the match and there will be spectators.”
He said every young cricketer always want to play the longer version of the game.
“Test cricket is the real Test for any cricketer. The future is good. When I was picked for ODIs, I loved to play Test and finally I got a chance. Every young cricketer wants to play Tests,” said the former explosive batsman.
Sehwag was speaking at a panel discussion of the programme in presence of India head coach Anil Kumble and his former teammate VVS Laxman.
Kumble was of the opinion that if they kept discussing about the ‘death’ of Test cricket then it would soon turn into a reality.
“One thing I will like to urge for every cricket lovers, opinion makers and various stakeholders is that let’s stop discussing about the death of Test cricket. I’m sure people would have spoken about the death of Test cricket probably during the times of Kerry Packer,” Kumble said.
“The current players love to play the format. There are challenges, yes. The youngsters are growing up watching T20. The challenge is to give them same kind of adrenaline in Test. Maybe it would be a challenge in terms of globalisation.”
The legendary leg-spinner said the attendance in a Test might have become lower than expected but followers have grown with the advent of social media.
“Maybe there are not many to watch the game, but the following has not changed. The following probably has increased if you do a survey,” said Kumble.
Referring to Sehwag who’s active on his Twitter handle, Kumble said: “The best among them is on the stage (Sehwag) in the world of 140 characters. It’s a great platform to promote Test cricket. You don’t need to sit through six hours to follow. There’s notification on smartphones through which you can follow.
“I’m sure it (Test) will survive. Let’s not keep talking about death about Test cricket. If all of us keep on do that then ultimately it would happen. The following of test cricket will continue to happen irrespective of how many turn up and watch the game.”
The programme unveiled Sportstar’s Dream Team of 15 which had Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag as the two opening batsmen and picked Kumble as the skipper, while Mahendra Singh Dhoni pipped Syed Kirmani as the wicketkeeper.
Sportstar Dream Team of 15: Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Vijay Hazare, VVS Laxman, Kapil Dev, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Anil Kumble (captain), Zaheer Khan, Vinoo Mankad, Bishan Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, Javagal Srinath, Virat Kohli.