Kohli, Root, Paine: what the players said about four-day Test cricket

The ICC wants to try out the four-day Tests during the next FTP cycle between 2023-2031 to get more free days for the commercially lucrative shorter formats.

There is a concern around four-day cricket in terms of its viability and practicality.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The International Cricket Council (ICC) wants to try out the four-day Test matches during the next FTP cycle between 2023-2031 in order to get more free days for the commercially lucrative shorter formats. However, there is a concern in terms of its viability and practicality. Here's what some of the top cricketers , present and former, feel about it.

READ| ICC to discuss four-day Tests in March despite growing criticism

Virat Kohli, India captain

India captain Virat Kohli   -  Getty Images

 

"Four-day Tests? Look, I'm not a fan of [it]," Kohli said on the eve of the T20I series opener between India and Sri Lanka in Guwahati. "I think the intent will not be right then because then you will speak of three-day Tests, where do you end? Then you speak of Test cricket disappearing. I don't endorse that at all.

"I don't think that's fair to the purest format of the game - how cricket started initially and five-day Test matches was the highest of tests you can have at the international level. According to me, it shouldn't be altered."

Tim Paine, Australia captain

"I think it should be taken into consideration. I dare say going back six or seven years if you let the players decide on pink ball that probably wouldn't have happened. There is always going to be some give and take. I think there is some merit on it being in the odd Test like we did with England and Ireland. But I think the big marquee Test series, the Test championship stuff has to stay five days."

Ricky Ponting, former Australia capain

Ricky Ponting during an Australian nets session.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

"I'm against it but I'd like to hear from the people who are pushing it what the major reason is," Ponting told cricket.com.au.

"I know we've had a lot of four-day games the last couple of years but what I've noticed in the last decade is how many drawn Test matches there have been, and I just wonder if they had have been all four-day Test matches through that period of time would we have had more drawn games.

"That's one thing I don't think anybody wants to see. I understand there is a commercial side to it, saving money and things like that and how they would start on a Thursday to finish on Sunday."

Joe Root, England captain

"I think there's merit to four-day cricket. Whether that's across the board or can it be flexible - we've obviously played one against Ireland. I'm sure that pitch would've been fit for a three-day game," he told Sky Sports. "I do think it's worth trialing and it might not always make sense for England to play especially if its against Australia or some of the bigger sides but it might draw a bit more interest with some of the countries who struggle to get people in the ground."

Nathan Lyon, Australia offspinner

Australia bowler Nathan Lyon   -  Getty Images

 

"Ridiculous. I'm not a fan of four-day Test matche. I believe you'll get so many more draws and day five is crucial. One, there's the weather element. But the wickets these days are probably a lot flatter than they have been in the past, so it allows teams to bat longer and to put pressure on sides. You need time for the pitch to deteriorate and bring spinners in more on day five as well.

"Five-day Test matches, they are hard work especially if the conditions aren't in your favour. You want to challenge yourself. I'm all against four-day Test matches."

Vernon Philander, South Africa fast bowler

"I hope five-day Test cricket doesn't come to an end," he said. "There is only one format and that's Test cricket. T20 cricketers come and go and the names come and go, Test cricket is the ultimate. Hopefully we can still see five-day Test matches. I know there has been a lot of talk about having four-day Test matches but I am a purist when it comes to cricket and I would like to see Test matches survive for five days."

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