Virat Kohli: Can't play Tests purely for entertainment

India captain Kohli feels the real entertainment of Test cricket lies in the nervousness of the morning session and how a batsman is trying to survive a spell.

India skipper Virat Kohli during a media interaction at the Eden Gardens.   -  K.R. Deepak

The pink ball Test is an effort to revive Test cricket. Cricket Boards around the world wants to bring the spectators back into the stands. But this is not The Big Bash or the IPL. It still involves surviving sessions and leaving the balls outside off.

At present, the health of international Test cricket is a talking point with South Africa and West Indies going down in the pecking order. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are unpredictable.

India captain Virat Kohli feels pink ball Test is not the only solution to restore Tests. “This should not become only way how Test is played, then you miss out on the nervousness of the first morning session. You can bring excitement into Test cricket but you can’t purely play Test cricket based on entertainment.

“The entertainment of Test cricket lies in a batsman trying to survive a session or a bowler trying to set up a batsman.

If people don’t respond to that, it’s too bad. If someone gets excitement from watching that battle, those are the ones who should come and watch Test cricket as they understand what is going on,” said Kohli on the eve of India’s maiden pink ball Test against Bangladesh starting on Friday.

Kohli expects the real fans to plan in advance for red-ball cricket but agrees the pink ball match is a “landmark occasion” for Indian cricket.

“There is a Test calendar, you can plan in advance like you plan anything in life. This [pink ball Test] can be a one-off thing. It is a great occasion. It is exciting even if you are bowling, 80K people will cheer you from the mark,” he said.

India on top, Kohli tells us why

India is on top of the World Test Championship and Kohli and Co. have won six Test matches on the trot.

He revealed what drives the side to go for the kill in the longer format at a time when others are struggling.

"I can’t speak for another team or a cricket board or how they look at Test cricket, how they are going to manage it. From the BCCI point of view, the only discussion we had is how we can keep Test cricket right up there. That has been the commitment of the board and the players wanting to do everything that is required to keep the standard high.

“The partnership of the board and players are going in one direction. If you look at our contract system, a lot of importance has been given to Test cricketers. All this needs to coincide.

"Everything has to be taken into account. You can’t tell a player you have to play Test cricket and we are not going to do anything for you,” he said, adding Test specialists are difficult to find today."