Kevin Pietersen is known for his unsupported character on the field but on June 12 he made a big statement for Test cricket in Bangalore. Delivering the sixth MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture ahead of the BCCI Annual Awards, the former England skipper wants to make Test cricket a spectacle. He feels Afghanistan should play fearless cricket on their Test debut against India. Kevin Pietersen also said five-day Test ‘remains the greatest all-round challenge in modern-day sport’.
“In my humble opinion, a hard-fought five-day Test match remains the greatest all-round challenge in modern day sport. A challenge as mentally demanding as it is physical,” Pietersen, who made 8181 runs in 104 Tests at 47.28, said. “A challenge demanding the very highest levels of concentration of technique, of determination, of stamina, all, for the batsman at least, with no second chances.
“Because, having played every form of cricket in every corner of the cricketing globe, I remain 100% convinced that the five-day Test remains the supreme form of the game. This may surprise some of you. After all, I am not known as a traditionalist. But in 2005 I maintained that you shouldn’t judge a man by his haircut. And now, 13 years later, I suggest you should NOT believe everything you read on Twitter!”
Afghanistan cricket team is all set to make their Test debut at Chinnaswamy cricket ground. The former England batsman even answered a few questions relating to the historic test on June 14. Answering those questions, he went on to say, “For me, it’s the ability to take your lessons from the nets into the heat of battle.
“It’s the determination to prepare, practise and give 100% commitment to everything away from the game. I appreciate that’s quite lot to ask for before Thursday! But I know some of you personally and you have been demonstrating those qualities and that application for a long time now.”
Appealing to all the players and cricket fans, he wants administrators to play their role as well. “How do you ensure that Rashid Khan and his fellow stars in this room commit to Test cricket? How do you push them towards a career where they truly care about the five-day game? Where they don’t just pay lip service to the national test side but dream of test cricket and strive to master it? He added.
Pietersen said, “If you take his values onto the square, then whatever you achieve in this game and wherever it takes you, you will never regret a moment of it.” while signing off inducing the spirit of MAK Pataudi.
Afghanistan stepping in the Test cricket can also inspire emerging teams who are yet to make their debut in Test format.
(Inputs from Wisden India)