Ravi Shastri, who once served as the head coach of India, recently made a contentious remark about the sport of test cricket when he said that the format should only be played by the top three or four countries in cricket. Ravichandran Ashwin, a veteran Indian off-spinner, voiced his disagreement with the proposals made by the previous Indian team head coach and elaborated on his viewpoint about the significance of test cricket for all nations.
Ashwin is currently the active player with the most wickets taken for India in red-ball cricket. Even though he has been one of the stalwarts in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is India’s leading global Twenty20 league, Ashwin believes that Test cricket is necessary for the development of Twenty20 cricket. He believed that the structure of first-class cricket is derived from test cricket and that a country can only make strides in the Twenty20 version of the game when first-class players are given more opportunities to adapt their style of play to the Twenty20 format.
What did Ravichandran Ashwin say?
“Recently, Ravi Bhai suggested that the format of test cricket should be changed such that just three or four countries compete in it. But when three or four countries compete, teams like Ireland won’t have the chance to compete since there won’t be enough spots available. Your first-class system can only improve if you play test cricket. Nothing else will do. And people will only have additional chances if you have a first-class setup in place. And players who excel in first-class cricket adapt their game to Twenty20 standards to be successful in the shorter format,” Ashwin remarked on his YouTube channel.
The Indian all-rounder, who just made his comeback to the Indian Twenty20 International team after an absence of eight months, seemed to be in top form in the Caribbean and shared his thoughts on the current setup in the Windies. He pointed out that the island nation does not have first-class cricket since the nation has changed its attention from red-ball cricket to the shorter forms of the game. As a consequence of this transition, the country has seen a decline in both ODI and T20I cricket.
“What steps are you going to take to improve first-class cricket? To do this, Test cricket has to have a significant following in your nation. They will not play Test cricket with the same level of interest if it is no longer relevant. I’m here in the West Indies, and first-class cricket will soon be a thing of the past here. There are several different T20 events,” Ashwin said further.