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Kohli stresses need to look after Test specialists

  • Published at 02:16 pm November 21st, 2019
File photo of Virat Kohli briefing the media in Kolkata AFP

Virat Kohli also mentioned the proper contract structure that the BCCI has in place for the Test players, which helps to make the longer version more attractive

Captain Virat Kohli revealed the process how India have become so consistent at both home and away, and are sitting as the No 1-ranked team.

India are currently at the top of the Test ranking with 119 rating points, while second and third placed New Zealand and England have 109 and 104 points respectively.

India have a very strong batting line-up consisting of four players in the top 10 of the Test ranking - Kohli (second), Cheteshwar Pujara (fourth), Ajinkya Rahane (fifth) and Rohit Sharma (10th). 

And in terms of bowling, Jasprit Bumrah is fourth, Mohammad Shami seventh and Ravichandran Ashwin 10th while Ravindra Jadeja is currently second in the all-rounders’ ranking.

All these aforementioned players, except Bumrah, played against Bangladesh in the first Test at Holkar Stadium in Indore where the Tigers lost by an innings and 130 runs.     

When asked about India’s strong performance in Tests over the years, Kohli gave credit to the Board of Control for Cricket in India for proper planning, and also the players for their commitment.    

“I can't speak for another team or another board on how they look at Test cricket and how they want to manage it, but from our point of view and BCCI point of view, the only discussion we've had over the last two-three years is how we can keep Test cricket right up there, and that takes the commitment of the board. And secondly, the total commitment from players about wanting to do everything that's required to keep the standards of Test cricket high,” Kohli said during the pre-match press conference at Eden Gardens Thursday.

Kohli also mentioned the proper contract structure that the BCCI has in place for the Test players, which helps to make the longer version more attractive.

“I think it is a partnership of the board and the players moving in one direction. If you look at our contracts system as well, a lot of importance has been given to Test cricketers. I think all things have to coincide and I think every cricket nation that has done that are invariably the ones that are playing strong Test cricket. Their hearts and minds are totally in sync with keeping Test cricket on top,” explained Kohli.

“You can't tell the players, ‘You have to be committed to playing Test cricket but contractually we won't do anything for you.’ I think because we're professional players, we earn a living as well. As long as Test cricket is displayed or said to be the more important format, everything around that has to happen in the same manner. From our team's point of view, that was our main goal - how can we tell the Test players you guys are the most important, because the other formats are taking care of themselves anyway.

“You have so many people coming up and playing white ball cricket but Test specialists are very difficult to find. Only someone who has gone through the grind for five-six years in first-class cricket and is still continuing to do so are the ones.

“So, I think the players need to be taken care of but at the same time the players need to respond in a manner that they're giving 120% every Test match. I think as long as teams are willing to do that, and cricket boards are willing to do that, Test cricket will always be on top,” the 31-year old concluded.

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