Ranchi: India captain Virat Kohli feels that time has come for the BCCI to zero in on five permanent Test centres for future home series, similar to the English and Australian model when top teams tour those countries.
In Australia, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide are the five designated Test centres whenever the big teams come calling.
Similarly in England, the Lord’s, Oval, Trent Bridge, Old Trafford, Edgbaston, Southampton and Headingley are the seven main Test centres for any marquee series (Ashes/India).
Asked about the lukewarm response in Ranchi, the Indian skipper lapped up the question.
“That’s a great question. We have been discussing this for a long time now. And in my opinion, we should have five Test centres. Period,” the skipper made his point, something that the new BCCI president Sourav Ganguly might now have to look into.
“Look if you want to keep Test cricket alive and exciting, I totally agree with the fact that we need five Test centres at max. It can’t be sporadic and spread over so many places where people turn up or they don’t,” the skipper didn’t mince words.
“So in my opinion, absolutely, we should have five strong Test centres where the team coming to India knows that this is where we’re going to play and nowhere else,” he said.
The BCCI follows the rotation policy across formats but it has now more than 15 Test centres.
“I mean, I agree that you have state associations, rotation and giving games and all that. That is fine in T20 and ODI cricket, but for Test cricket teams coming into India should know we are going to play at these five centres.
“These are the pitches we’re going to expect. These are the kind of people they’re going to come to watch, crowds,” Kohli reasoned.
The Indian captain sees this as a challenge just like his team faces when they hit foreign shores.
“That becomes a challenge already when you’re leaving the shores because we go to any place, we know we’re having four Tests at these venues. This is what the pitch is going to offer. It’s going to be full stadium, the crowds behind the team,” he said.
India consolidate top spot in ICC rankings
India consolidated their position at the top of the International Cricket Council’s World Test Championship table, clinching the maximum points with the 3-0 whitewash of South Africa at home.
India gained 120 points with each Test worth 40. India won the third and final Test by an innings and 202 runs in Ranchi on Tuesday morning.
“The points range from 60 points for each match of a two-Test series to 24 for each match of a five-Test series,” the ICC said in a statement.
India have continued from their early success of a 2-0 win in the West Indies and are now on 240 points after wresting the maximum in both their series.
They will get a chance to build further in an upcoming two-Test home series against Bangladesh from November 14.
Sri Lanka and New Zealand are on 60 points each in the table after drawing their two-match series 1-1 while England and Australia are on 56 each after their five-match Ashes series ended 2-2.
The top two teams at the end of the league will play the final in the UK in June 2021 with the winners crowned the world Test champions.