Former Australian skipper Mark Taylor has accredited Indian Men’s Cricket Team Head coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli for keeping the craze for Test cricket alive. In the current times when Test cricket is seeing a decrease in interest in the format while the inclination of the upcoming generation of players and cricket fans is increasing towards the shorter formats of the game. In such a scenario, as per Taylor, Shastri and Kohli have been great supporters and promoters of the longest format of the game.
“(India coach) Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli (have) been great supporters and promoters of Test cricket in recent times. I think Virat has been excellent in that regard, really wanting to play Test cricket, prioritising the game,” Taylor said to Wide World of Sports, as reported by IANS.
Even though the fandom towards the format seems to be receding, the Indian Cricket Team has managed to keep the craze alive by giving some memorable performances in recent times. These include the historic Border-Gavaskar series victory at the Gaba and the just-concluded, but incomplete England series.
Even though the International Cricket Council (ICC) introduced the ICC World Test Championship and the top teams are managing to keep the thrill of the Test cricket fans alive, Taylor cannot seem to stop worrying over the unforeseen fate of the format.
“But the worry will be how long it continues for. There’s no doubt as we all get older, and the new generations come through, this love that people like I have for Test cricket may diminish, and that’s the concern for our older generation,” he said.
Mark Taylor also expressed his views on the five-match Test series between India and England. Recently, the fifth and final game of the series between the two teams had to be called off after certain members of the Indian contingency tested positive for Covid-19, including Ravi Shastri. The indefinite postponement of the game sparked some controversy with critics claiming that the Indian players gave weightage to the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 that is resuming on September 19 due to the short time frame left.
Opining over the decision taken by the boards, the former Australian player said that he found it plausible that the players chose their health over the game.
“I don’t think anyone would hold any sort of grudge against the players not wanting to play a game when they’ve got genuine concerns about COVID infection. I think now we want to see some consistency. Pulling out of a Test match is huge for the game of cricket, particularly an India series, it’s a big series,” Taylor said.
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