R Ashwin disagrees with Ravi Shastri statement on Test cricket, explains why existing system is important


R Ashwin disagrees with Ravi Shastri’s comments on Test cricket

Photo: PTI

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ravi Shastri had said that Test cricket should only be limited to the top 3-4 teams.
  • R Ashwin is not in agreement with Shastri’s suggestion for the longest format of the game.
  • Ashwin, in fact, urged smaller cricketing nations to develop a stronger First-Class cricketing system.
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri made an interesting suggestion with regards to the future of Test cricket, saying only the top 3-4 teams should be playing the longest format of the game. India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, reacting to Shastri’s suggestion, has expressed opposing views.

Ashwin, who has one of the finest cricketing brains in the modern day game, explained why Shastri’s suggestion doesn’t really solve the purpose, rather, it deprives teams like Ireland of opportunities to develop a better First Class system.

“Recently Ravi bhai said Test cricket should be made as a format that only 3-4 nations play. But when 3-4 nations play, teams like Ireland won’t get won’t get the opportunity to play,” Ashwin said in a video on his YouTube channel.

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“You can ask me what’s the relation between Test cricket and T20 cricket. Only when you play Test cricket, your first-class structure will get better. And only when your first-class structure is good, people will get more opportunities. And players who do well in first-class cricket mold their game according to T20 cricket. That’s how cricket has shaped up,” Ashwin added.

Ashwin cited the example of India as he explained the importance of having a strong First-Class system. Following the India system, Ashwin feels foreign countries need to make Test cricket more relevant.

The Tamil Nadu-born off-spinner also cited the example of West Indies as he explained how First-Class cricket has almost vanished from the country.

“You can see that from the top three strong Test-playing nations. of course, you can make that four of five… India, England and Australia. The first-class structure of these nations is extremely strong. In fact, a few are suggesting whether India’s first-class structure can be improved further because as we speak, Navdeep Saini and Washington Sundar have gone on and done well in County cricket. Likewise, is there an opportunity for foreign players to come and play Ranji Trophy? These questions are also being raised,” he asserted.

“How will you strengthen first-class cricket? For that Test cricket needs to be relevant in your country. If Test cricket is not relevant, they won’t play it with full interest. I’m currently in West Indies and here we can see that first-class cricket is almost gone. There are multiple T20 tournaments,” Ashwin added.

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