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We should have five strong Test centres in India: Kohli

We should have five strong Test centres in India: Kohli

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We should have five strong Test centres in India: Kohli

five strong Test centres in India

We should have five strong Test centres in India: Kohli Test cricket is still popular in India but it somehow doesn’t manifest in the number of people that actually turn up to watch cricket. Visakhapatnam and Pune, venue for the first and second Test against South Africa respectively, had decent weekend crowds but the stands in Ranchi were sparsely populated throughout, forcing one to ponder if Test cricket is too distributed in India. Should it be played only at a select-few traditional venues in India, which still get bums on the seats? Or should Test cricket continue to be rotated among the state associations, giving everyone time under the sun?

Virat Kohli, when posed with that question after the Ranchi Test, admitted that it’s something that the team has been discussing for a long time, and the India captain strongly rooted for having fewer, stronger Test centres in India.

“Look, you want to keep Test cricket alive and exciting, I totally agree with the fact that we should have five Test centres at max. It can’t be sporadic and spread over so many places where people turn up or they don’t,” Kohli said on Tuesday (October 22) in Ranchi. “We have been discussing this for a long time now, and in my opinion we should have five Test centres. Period.”

India play at well-established venues whenever they travel overseas to destinations like England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand or even Sri Lanka. Kohli said that knowing the venues and the kind of challenges that come bundled with it, becomes a challenge it itself.

“Teams coming to India should know that we are going to play at these five centers, these are the pitches we should expect, these are the kind of people who will come to watch… crowds. That becomes a challenge already when you’re leaving the shores. Because we go to any place, we know we have four Test matches at these venues, this is what the pitches are going to do, it is going to be full stadium, the crowd behind the team,” Kohli said.

While England works differently, where counties outbid each other to host Test matches, India has a rotational system in place. And it’s there to accommodate the 28 Test centres in India. Six of them, namely Rajkot, Visakhapatnam, Pune, Dharamsala, Ranchi and Indore, were added as recently as 2016 to try and take Test cricket to the smaller cities. So if India are to have fewer Test centers, it will take a major shift in marketing policies from the BCCI, which incidentally has a new BCCI President in Sourav Ganguly. We should have five strong Test centres in India: Kohli

Kohli was of the opinion that the rotational system should be limited to the limited-overs format, and the Tests should be regularly played at fixed venues every year.

“I agree that state associations, rotation and giving games and all that — that is fine for T20s and One-Day cricket. Teams coming to India should know this is where we are going to play,” Kohli added. We should have five strong Test centres in India: Kohli

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We should have five strong Test centres in India: Kohli, We should have five strong Test centres in India: Kohli

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