Virat Kohli has in the past spoken about the importance of Test cricket even as many believe that the format is a dying aspect of the game, especially with the advent of Twenty20 cricket. Former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith was all praise for Kohli on Friday and said that the Indian skipper’s love for Test cricket will be instrumental in keeping it relevant. “World cricket is lacking huge amount of superstars. Maybe one or two in England. I think Virat is that guy,” Smith said during his address at the Jagmohan Dalmiya Annual Conclave.
“The fact that he loves Test cricket and puts in performance it keeps Test cricket relevant in a country that loves the game with IPL and other T20s. It’s huge for the game.
“As long as Virat keeps promoting Test cricket as an icon and superstar, we all have the chance to keep the game relevant.”
Kohli has had a stupendous year including fastest to the 10,000 club, elevating his stature as the best batsman in the world.
Smith, who played 117 Tests while captaining South Africa in 109 of them, also slammed the Kookaburra ball for damaging Test cricket.
“The Kookaburra ball in particular is letting people down. It’s a ball that softens and does not swing for a long period of time. I think Test cricket cannot afford to have boring draws.
“It needs the ball to spin, it needs the ball to swing and movement in the air. It needs competition between the bat and the ball so as to keep Test cricket to stay relevant,” he said.
Smith’s comments came at a time members of the Indian team including skipper Kohli and pacer Umesh Yadav hit out at the quality of SG balls.
On the future of the longest format of the game, Smith said: “Unfortunately in Test cricket, we have lost a few dynamic teams. There are teams who are going through transformation phases. I believe if world cricket is competitive all formats will work.”
“Test cricket is the ultimate test of your ability and skill and your physical state. The challenge is to get competitive teams outside the top three. Then if we add the some of the nuances people will start take seriously,” he said.
(With IANS Inputs)
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