Former India opener Virender Sehwag on Sunday joined skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri in backing five-day Tests over ICC’s proposal to curtail it to four days to draw more eyeballs. Sehwag compared the five-day traditional format to baby diapers, saying both should be changed only when it becomes completely redundant. “I have always supported change. I captained India in its first T20 game and I am proud of that. I was also part of India’s World T20 winning team in 2007. But five-day Test cricket is romance,” Sehwag said while delivering the seventh Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi Lecture at the BCCI Awards in Mumbai.
“Innovations like names in jerseys and pink ball Tests are fine. But diaper and five-day Tests should only be changed when its finished, when it can’t be used anymore. Five-day Test is not finished. Test cricket is a 143-year old fit person. It has a soul. ‘Char din ki sirf chandni hi hoti hai….Test cricket nahin’ (four days of moon is fine, not Test cricket),” said the ever-witty Sehwag in his inimitable fashion.
The ICC Cricket Committee is set to discuss the idea of four-day Test matches, but it will, in all likelihood, get a red flag from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as the Indian board is set to stand with Kohli and Shastri.
Both the captain and the head coach of the team have made it clear that they want the traditional format to not lose its sheen by turning from a five-day affair into one of four days.
A BCCI official had told IANS that the board will discuss the matter with Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
“See, it is only right that you discuss these matters and we will do the same with CA, ECB and Cricket South Africa. But as things stand now, we are on the same platform as our skipper and coach and don’t see much sense in cutting Test cricket to four days from the conventional five. In fact, it is not just our captain or coach, you have also heard the likes of Joe Root and Faf du Plessis make their opinions clear on the matter. It might be an option for the lower ranked teams, but not when two big teams clash. Tradition can’t be toyed with,” the official had said.