India skipper Virat Kohli has come out in support of Test cricket, saying that the traditional format of the game shouldn’t be tinkered with. Kohli, who is currently the numero uno batsman in ICC Test rankings, didn’t endorse the talk of four-day Test matches as he feels that it is a backward step.
"I cannot explain to you the job satisfaction that you get when you do well in Test cricket, because you know how demanding it is," Kohli told Wisden.
"I don't think it's going to go anywhere. I don't even see it getting compressed to four days," he added.
When asked if he sees the proposed four-day Test matches as a backward step, the Indian captain said: "Definitely. It should not be tinkered with."
The growth of Twenty20 cricket all across the globe has seen a lot of players becoming freelancers. The prospect of earning huge bucks in a short span of time has forced players to be more inclined towards the shortest format.
"In a few countries, yes. It all depends on the awareness of people who watch the game. If you take a country like South Africa or Australia or England, they have big crowds for Test matches because people understand the sport. It's literally living life over five days. There are so many ups and downs and even when you've done well you've got to keep coming back and doing it all over again,” Kohli said.
Virat, who scored 593 runs at an average of 59.30 in the five-match Test series against England, is also excited for the ICC Test championship.
"I think that is going to give a huge push to Test cricket. It makes every series more competitive, and there's going to be ups and downs throughout the Championship, which I really look forward to. The teams that love playing Test cricket are always going to be passionate about it," he opined.
The India captain also urged the respective cricket boards to preserve first-class cricket.
"And it also depends on the system you have back home as well. If you're not going to give more importance to first-class cricket, then people are going to lose motivation to play the longest format of the game,” Kohli pointed out.
"With the T20 format coming in I think there's far greater responsibility on all the cricket boards across the world to treat first-class cricket really well, because if the facilities and the standard go up, then the motivation always stays," he concluded.