Laxman: Toss should be done away with for the first match of a bilateral Test series

V.V.S. Laxman says that in today’s times, where mandatory quarantine eats into a visiting team’s preparations, the coin toss should be done away with for the first match of any bilateral Test series.

VVS Laxman feels that it is important to take care of the wickets so that the Test matches don't get over in two days.   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

Former India batsman V.V.S. Laxman has weighed in on the ever-raging debate on how to make Test cricket more interesting. Laxman feels that in today’s times, where mandatory quarantine eats into a visiting team’s preparations, the coin toss should be done away with for the first match of any bilateral Test series.

“Since the home team enjoys a home advantage, maybe, in the first Test of the series, the touring team captain can be asked to decide what he wants to do,” Laxman told Sportstar.

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Laxman, who scored 5014 runs in 77 away Tests (3767 runs in 54 home Tests), feels the innovation would ensure a level playing field. “I have always enjoyed playing overseas because it actually pushes a player out of his comfort zone, and you also want to perform in tough conditions. That always gave me and my colleagues a lot of satisfaction but performing in the first Test was always challenging. You have to get used to the conditions and now with a packed schedule and the pandemic with mandatory quarantine rules, it’s never easy for a visiting side as they will not get enough time to prepare,” Laxman said.

“India will be playing the World Test Championship final without a single practice match. It’s fine as it will be played at a neutral venue. But for a bilateral series it would be good to relinquish the home advantage.”

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He feels that there is no need to change the format of Test cricket, but Laxman believes that it is important to ensure that there is enough competitiveness. “Home advantage comes in terms of the pitch the match is played on, so whichever team wins the toss will have the advantage. So, giving away the home advantage will at least help the touring side and it will give them a fair chance to do well in the first Test. At least you are giving them the best chance to compete,” he said.

Laxman also wants the quality of playing surfaces to be looked into. “As a former cricketer and someone who wants Test cricket to be alive and kicking, I feel that it is important that the quality of the wickets is taken care of. We do not want matches to be over in two days. It’s good to produce competitive and challenging wickets, but it should not be such where matches are over in a couple of days,” Laxman stated.

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