Virat Kohli: "In My Opinion, We Should Have 5 Strong Test centres"
Addressing the media at Ranchi on Tuesday, October 22, after India whitewashed South Africa in the Test Series, Indian skipper Virat Kohli backed the idea of India sticking to 5 strong Test venues. While conceding that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) followed the rotation policy of giving different state associations a chance of hosting Test matches, he reckoned that it should apply only to limited-overs cricket. Furthermore, he opined the visiting team should have an approximate idea about the venues.
Read: Virat Kohli Powers Past Mohammad Azharuddin's Follow-on Record
He said, “We have been discussing this for a long time now. In my opinion, we should have 5 Test centres. Period. Agreed that state associations, rotation and giving games and all that is fine for T20s and ODI cricket. But test cricket, teams coming to India should know that we are going to play at these 5 centres, these are the pitches we are going to expect, these are the kind of people who are going to come to watch. So that becomes a challenge already when you are leaving the shores. So when we go to any place, we know that we are going to play 4 Test matches in these venues. This is what the pitch is going to offer. It is going to be full stadium and the crowd’s behind the team.”
Read: Virat Kohli's 200: Anushka Sharma's Reaction Is Every Indian Fan
‘Cannot be sporadic’
Kohli categorically asserted that earmarking specific Test centres was essential for the very survival of Test cricket.
“Look, if you want to keep Test cricket alive and exciting, I totally agree with the fact that we need 5 Test centres at max. It cannot be sporadic and spread over, you know so many places where people turn up or they don’t. So, in my opinion, we should have 5 strong Test centres. The team coming to India will know that this is where we are going to play and nowhere else”, he remarked.
Read: India Won Third Test By An Innings & 202 Runs, Whitewash South Africa
India wins the third Test
Earlier in the day, India took only two overs to wrap South Africa’s second innings as they won the third Test by an innings and 202 runs at Ranchi. Initially, riding on the superb partnership between Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, India mounted a huge total of 497 runs in the first innings. Sharma scored a scintillating maiden Test double-hundred, hitting 28 boundaries and 6 sixes. South Africa was scuttled for only 162, after which the Indian skipper enforced the follow-on. The visiting team’s poor form persisted as they got bowled out for 133 runs, marking the 11th straight series win for India on home soil.
Read: Team India Smashes Records In Run-feast Test Series Against Proteas