Mohammad Azharuddin: Not a big fan of pink ball cricket

Test cricket may be a hotly contested format with the ever-growing popularity of Twenty20 (T20), but former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin believes Test cricket needs no encouragement . “I don’t know why people fear for the future of Test cricket. Although the number of Test matches has gone down, you are getting results,” Azharuddin said on the sidelines of the Sportsstar Aces Rewards in Bombay.

“The Rawalpindi and Karachi Tests between Australia and Pakistan may have ended in draws. However, the format has thrown exciting cricket. ICC to decide if and how they want to rehabilitate the Test format.A while ago there were also talks about four-day cricket but I don’t think that’s the way to go.

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Since the late 2000s, amid growing concern over declining interest in testing, the idea of ​​having day-night testing began to gain traction to bring more people into stadiums and attract a larger television audience. The first men’s pink ball test took place in Adelaide in November 2015. It proved to be a low-scoring thriller, with Australia beating New Zealand by just three wickets on day three.

India have played four pink ball Tests so far, won three and lost one. So far every pink ball test has had a result, but Azharuddin is old school. “I’m not a huge fan of pink ball cricket. With testing it has to be with the red ball. It’s a long tradition and should be continued in my opinion. I know it’s is (pink ball testing) getting results, but bowlers and batters have also had complaints in the past,” he said when asked if day-night testing should become a regular feature. home seasons.

“Specialist Position”

Mohammad Azharuddin: “Slip, Stupid Stitch, Short Leg are specialized positions. You can’t get anyone and everyone to stay there.”

Apart from being a prolific run-getter, Azharuddin was one of India’s greatest defenders. He rarely dived but his technique and anticipation always stood out. Azharuddin weighed in on the current crop of Indian players. “The main thing for me is to always play well. Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli, all good, but we have to do it consistently. Slip, silly point, short leg are specialized positions. You can’t get everyone to stand up If you keep changing the composition of the bead, it will affect the performance.

“My most important drill was getting a lot of catches. It helps you get a feel for the ball. If you like playing outfield, then you can become a good outfielder. You have to like playing outfield. There’s a lot of good outfield players, but if you want to become great you have to do more.”

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Hard for Rahane, Pujara

Azharuddin also believes it will be difficult for Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane to break into the Indian squad for the rescheduled fifth Test last summer against England at Edgbaston on July 1.

“Rahane and Pujara might find it difficult, the only thing that could tip the scales in their favor is experience. But with the advent of Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari, it will be difficult. The bench strength is strong. I I feel when young players come in, they have to be consistent. This changing of the guard is a generational thing. It’s happened before. The key is to identify the best players and give them more chances to perform. Don’t let the mental pressure of ‘whether I’ll get another game if I fail’ affects them. Cutting and changing a team too often is a problem.”

Lack of depth

Azharuddin drew comparisons to Sri Lankan teams of yore while commenting on the Islanders’ recent 0-2 loss to India. “Most of the players were extremely talented, and they were also vying to compete with the best and show that they belonged in the highest echelons. They won the World Cup in 1996. They had a world-class spinner in Muttiah Muralitharan. He was their main he played very positively and was supported beautifully by the likes of Chaminda Vaas. By comparison their bowling offense looks very depleted now. They don’t have the depth to take a team out twice.

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