Bhubaneswar: Indian cricketer Ajinkya Rahane said that if India wants to save Test cricket, it needs to promote and support the days’ cricket from the junior level.
“Junior level cricket, be it school-level, in clubs or any age group cricket, has to be promoted and supported more because talents for Test cricket are spotted from these tournaments,” Rahane opined at a discussion on ‘Saving Test cricket’ at the Ekamra Sports Lit Fest here, Saturday.
“The domestic cricket needs to be given more importance, especially the days’ cricket. Media covers and highlights those tournaments. But the fans should also support more the domestic cricket.”
“Not only state-level tournaments, but junior level U-16, U-19, school-level or even club-level days’ cricket, should be promoted more. Because when days’ cricket survives, Test cricket will automatically get back to its past followings. It will take time but can happen,” Rahane asserted.
When asked whether the West Indies series was an ideal preparation ahead of a tour like Australia, Rahane said that there is difference between the two series.
“Look, both are different series. As a team, we always want to perform well, win matches as well series; be it at home or away. Winning the series is important. Now the team’s focus is on West Indies T20Is and those who are not playing and are a part of the team travelling to Australia, have already started training,” said the Mumbai lad.
Rahane also defended the tactics of not keeping the same XI for next matches. “When we are playing a match, we look at the conditions, how the wickets behave and all that. On the basis of these, we place our final XI who can be useful for those factors.
“Wickets in India now are of different natures. If you look back at the South Africa series, the Pretoria wicket was different from the wicket at Centurion. So we have to calculate from every way as well as look at our opponents before picking our final XI,” said the right-handed batsman.
Rahane was quick to point out that lack of backing players is the main reason behind the Odisha team’s under-development. “Odisha have a decent team. But in every team you will find players who struggle initially but once they find the touch, they score consistently.”
“So you need to give chance to players to prove themselves. Not just one or two matches. You can’t judge someone in such short periods. You need to give at least 7-8 matches, which gives confidence to newcomers. This also builds up their confidence and they are able to score freely,” said Rahane.