Sports

Anil Kumble identifies ‘challenges’ for young players, believes Test cricket still the pinnacle

Former Indian captain Anil Kumble believes most players across age groups still want to excel in Test cricket, despite the growing influence of T20 and franchise cricket. There have been discussions over the health of Test cricket and proposals have been made to prune the longest format to 4 days. Kumble, who also heads the ICC cricket committee, will chair a discussion in March over this very theory.

“I think everybody wants to play Test cricket, that’s very clear. The generation of cricketers certainly want five-day cricket and that’s something very obvious,” he said during an event.

“There is some challenge in keeping everyone focused and pushed towards playing domestic competition especially Ranji Trophy,” Kumble further added.

He was, however, quick to add that with all the three formats being crammed into a tight schedule, the challenges for players will only increase.

“Very few players are common to formats and it’s getting lesser and lesser. But I don’t think there is any dearth of people wanting to play the longer format. I think everybody wants to, they realize that’s the biggest challenge and I’m sure that’s going to be the case for a long time,” Kumble added.

So what does Kumble say to the future cricketers?

“You just need to be at it. There are a lot more opportunities for you to come back so that’s the one thing that is an advantage. To not look for anyone else to chart their careers out for them.

“One thing I would tell any youngster is don’t look at somebody… Selectors are there to actually drop you, not pick you. Because you pick yourself. At the end of it, your performances count and then you certainly pick yourself. The selector or whoever is picking you is there to drop you not really to pick you… that I think one must be aware of.”

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