Sunil Gavaskar lauded the efforts of the Indian team to preserve Test cricket saying the team has struck the right balance between white-ball cricket and Test cricket in recent years. Gavaskar added that the people outside India think that the team isn’t focused on Test cricket, but they are wrong.
India are currently playing a two-match Test series against Sri Lanka and the opening Test has started from Friday. The series will mark the start of Rohit Sharma as a full-time Test captain for India. Also, this is the 100th Test for Virat Kohli and he has scored 45 runs in the first innings. Kohli will now look to end his century drought in the second innings but he crossed the milestone of 8000 Test runs in the first innings.
Former India cricketer Sunil Gavskar praised the Indian team for keeping a fine balance between white-ball cricket and Tests. He also praised Virat Kohli for his role in elevating the stature of Test cricket.
“The way Kohli played Test cricket, the way he has captained, he showed the importance of Test cricket to the world. The people on the outside say that India aren't focused on Test cricket. They're wrong. India are very much invested in Tests. But the way India have created a balance between white-ball cricket and Test cricket is worthy of praise,” Gavsakar said on Star Sports.
“The thing that you need to consider is that Test cricket was played considerably more during the time when the first 10-11 Indian players reached 100 Tests. White-ball cricket wasn't played that much. But since 2008-2009, it went the opposite way. White-ball cricket was played more and Tests were left behind. So, if someone needed to give importance to the game, he had to play Test cricket.”
The number of Test matches is decreasing while limited overs cricket is on a rise. This condition might mean that there will be very few players after Kohli to play 100 Tests in their career. Reflecting on the importance of Test cricket Gavaskar said players become great by excelling in the longest format.
“We have Test matches in every season and the way Dhoni and Kohli's teams have played in those games is the reason for the format's improved stature in the world at the moment. Everyone knows that a cricketer is rated on the basis of his performance in Test cricket. If you don't make runs or don't take regular wickets in Tests, you won't be counted as one of the greats of the game,” he stated.