Kohli Helped India Pave Path in Test Cricket Development: Graeme Smith

Tags: India, Virat Kohli, Graeme Craig Smith, Test Cricket

Published on: Aug 22, 2022

Amid the craze of Twenty20 domestic tournaments such as the Indian Premier League (IPL), Caribbean Premier League (CPL), the Big Bash and the upcoming UAE T20 League, Test cricket seems losing ground. South African legend Graeme Smith has praised former skipper Virat Kohli for helping India in paving the path of development in the longest format. He stated only a handful of countries are currently contributing to it.

Talking to Sky Sports he said that just a couple of big cricketing nations are currently contributing to the development of Test cricket and the Indian players under the leadership of Kohli took the format seriously.

It is true Test cricket is on the decline lately with diminishing sponsors, viewerships and support while T20 leagues are mushrooming around the world, even in the United States where the sport is least played.

Virat Kohli has so far scored more than 8,000 runs in his Test cricket career and his average is nearly 50 runs per match. He has registered 27 hundreds to his name even though he is currently going through a century drought. He last scored in three-figure in November 2019 while playing against Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, Australian all-rounder Shane Watson believes Kohli is the best Test batsman now even though he is going through a rough patch. His name is top among the best five Test batsmen which include Joe Root, Babar Azam, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson.

Steve Smith is currently unable to put pressure on bowlers as he used to when he was at his best. This is the reason he is not better than Kohli, believes Watson. Babar Azam can be counted as number two as he is adopting the long format faster. Joe Root is not better than the other four. He is now in a vein of form. Kane Williamson is suffering from elbow issues but understands the technique of putting pressure on the bowlers.

Graeme Smith commented at such a time when the ICC's new FTP has been released and it reveals the South African team to play fewer Test matches between 2023 and 2027 compared to the earlier cycle between 2019 and 2023.

According to Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Pholets Moseki, the South African cricket calendar is compiled with three new T20 leagues and argues hosting Test cricket leads to financial issues.

CSA is working on a new T20 league and it is scheduled to be held early next year equipped with a 33-match event involving six teams, all bought by IPL owners. Smith is commissioner of the tournament.

In the next FTP cycle, England will be playing 43 tests while Australia 40. India is in third place with 38 Test matches followed by Bangladesh with 34. The least will be played by Ireland with just 12 Tests. The second last is Afghanistan with 21 matches.

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