4-day Test match, only way to protect red-ball cricket?

Australian cricket legend Mark Taylor has urged that the game should embrace a four-day format to protect the longevity of format.

4-day Test match, only way to protect red-ball cricket

Last week, Australia defeated India in the third test by nine wickets in Indore after displaying a poor outing in the earlier two tests at Nagpur and Delhi. 

Ever since Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum took over the reins for English cricket in the longest format, the nation adopted an aggressive style of play in the game. Following their footsteps, many countries have adopted this style, ultimately affecting the duration of test matches. 

“Four-day Test matches, I think will help that”- Mark Taylor.

Four-day Test matches, I think will help that

Mark Taylor bought this argument by reducing the number of days to four in the game. He said, “I think cricket should move with the times and bring in four-day Test matches.”

Justifying the four-day format, he added, “Players like to have three days off between games, so four-day Test matches work.”

“Lose a bit of time, get a really flat pitch – declare earlier. The best games of cricket have always been where one side makes about 350, and the second side does the same and then you’ve got a really good contest. 400, 500 plus the total, generally, very rarely leads to a good game of cricket.”

Reducing the duration- the road to the demise of Test matches?

When asked about whether changing the duration of test cricket be the beginning of the end of Test Cricket, he said that the demise of a longer format has already been in motion. 

He highlighted that South Africa cricket has already requested less of test cricket for the future, which in itself is a bad sign for the format. “So, I think the only way to keep Test cricket is to make it more interesting, make it more playable, fit it in the schedule more – which is now becoming more and more cramped all the time,” he added.

Is a pitch like Indore ruining Test matches?

The third match between India and Australia concluded in 2 days and one session, as Australian spinners outclassed the Indian management plan of using turning pitches. The pitch invited a lot of criticism from cricketers across the globe. 

s a pitch like Indore ruining Test matches

“When you go to India, you expect to play on low, slow turning pitches. That’s been the case for as long as I have known the game of cricket. There’s nothing wrong with that. But you don’t expect the ball to go through the surface of the pitch on day one, and that’s what happened.”

He emphasised that pitch preparation should be the sole responsibility of groundsmen and curators. Players, coaches or support staff should not have any say in demand to curate a particular pitch type. 

According to reports, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has requested that the pitch for the final test in Ahmedabad should be played on a green top, which would favour pacers, unlike the last matches. 

Speaking on the same, Mark Taylor said, “The only reason they are saying that now is because Australia, having won that 3rd Test match, they’ve now qualified for the WTC final ,which will be at Lords early June, and more likely they will play India. Test matches shouldn’t be lead-up games to the World Test Championship; they should be Test matches.”

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