Sydney: Former Australia captain Mark Taylor praised India captain Virat Kohli for his love for Test cricket and the way he has promoted the longest format of the game, both as a player and as the captain of the country. Taylor also said that India head coach Ravi Shastri should also be given credit for supporting the longer version of the game at a time when domestic T20 leagues are threatening the existence of Test cricket.Also Read - MI vs PBKS Dream11 Team Prediction, Fantasy Hints VIVO IPL 2021 Match 42: Captain, Vice-Captain – Mumbai Indians vs Punjab Kings, Playing 11s T20 Match at Sheikh Zayed Stadium 7:30 PM IST September 28 Tuesday
“(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,” said Taylor to Wide World of Sports. Also Read - Rohit Sharma's Lookalike Spotted Enjoying Sharbat in Pakistan, Viral Pic Sparks Hilarious Memes
Taylor expressed his worry on how long Test cricket remains a priority in future. “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 us older generation.” Also Read - Virat Kohli's Childhood Coach Rajkumar Sharma Reckons Mumbai Indians Are Overdependent on Rohit Sharma
The 56-year-old hoped the decision to cancel the fifth and final Test between England and India in Manchester was not made to prioritise the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 edition.
“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,” said Taylor.
“When players make a stance against that we all understand that, we do, and we understand that health comes first. But people have to look after the health of the game. It puts pressure on the game of Test cricket in particular, and then you’ve got a game of T20, a domestic series coming up that all those players want to play,” added Taylor.
“We’ve got to be careful; the players have to be careful that they send a consistent message. If similar things happened in the IPL, I would like to see similar action taken by the players,” concluded Taylor.
Players Becoming White-Ball Specialists Going to Happen More & More
Taylor has said young cricketers opting to play white-ball cricket will happen more and more in near future. He added that the governing bodies must make Test cricket more financially attractive to ensure players remain focused on the longest format of the game.
“We’ve seen in recent times players become one-day specialists or white-ball specialists, and that is going to happen more and more. To keep attracting young players who come through… to want to play Test cricket, is going to be more difficult,” said Taylor to Wide World of Sports on Wednesday.
“I know that’s something that’s been discussed now for a long time, rewarding and prioritising the (Test) game by making it more financially attractive. If you go back to my time, there was no golden goose Big Bash or IPL. The way you made money playing cricket in Australia was to be a good Test cricketer and then also a good one-day cricketer. But you really had to force yourself to be a good Test cricketer first and foremost,” added Taylor.
The 56-year-old hopes for the year-end Ashes in Australia to go ahead as planned. There remain doubts on many Test members of England flying to Australia for the Ashes over COVID-19 outbreaks in the country, lack of clarity on quarantine and families joining the players on the long trip.
“I’d like to think if you look at Australia, come December 8 when the first Test is due, another couple of months from now, hopefully by then we’ve got our 70 per cent double vaxxed rate up right across Australia, or at least in the majority of states. I think that in itself should put anyone’s mind at ease in regards to travelling here and Australia being a safe country,” concluded Taylor.
(With IANS Inputs)