Ahead of the Test series against England, India captain Virat Kohli spoke about the health of the format in an interview to Dinesh Karthik for Sky Sports. Kohli said Test cricket was in trouble three years back but lauded the players for keeping it alive. Kohli also said the ICC World Test Championship was a right move, while adding that not all players are motivated towards Test cricket.
“Test cricket would have been in trouble three years back as well, but I think it’s the players that keep Test cricket alive. To be honest, if we did not have the mindset to play Test cricket and be so passionate for it, then it would have taken a huge hit or that would have given a huge blow to Test cricket all over the world. I can assure you that,” Kohli told Karthik.
“WTC is a very positive move, it is a step in the right direction, there is everything at stake in every Test match you play and I think it all depends on what the players want from Test cricket. If people watching on television feel like I do not want to miss a ball, that is eventually what is going to keep Test cricket alive.”
Karthik asked Kohli what teams that are struggling in Test cricket should do, and this is what the captain responded:
“Firstly, you need to be honest with yourself. You know Test cricket is tough, even when you are one of the top teams in the world, you can go into a space where you do not want it. At certain stages, you can feel like do I want to do this over five days? Are you ready to go out there on day three when stakes are against you? Go out there and bowl difficult spells for your team? Or go out and bat and get that 100 or 50 for the team. You know it’s going to be tough, you have to do it or 5-6 hours over two days Are you strong enough to do that?”
“Firstly, honestly. Looking yourself at the mirror and asking do you want to play Test and if the answer is yes then just go out there and be relentless. I honestly feel there is not enough motivation for people towards Test cricket, something I have observed. That is why invariably you see, teams giving up in Test cricket and don’t find ways to get back into the game.”
Karthik continued: “We need more Virat Kohlis in world cricket to keep Test cricket going. Is that a fair statement?”
Kohli said: “It is a hard one. You have got one for now, he’s going to give everything for Test cricket till the time he plays. I don’t know about others’ mindset, but for me, this is the absolute pinnacle of the game.”