Q – Is four-day Test cricket the way forward? The Zim Test has a feeling of ‘falseness’ about it!
A – Most changes to the game have a ‘gimmicky’ feel about them initially, and the vast majority of public opinion is inevitably against them. Human nature. Instinctively I would prefer Tests to remain at five days but, logistically, it makes so much sense to move to four days with more overs per day. A three-Test series could then be played in three weeks with each match starting on Thursday and finishing on Sunday. International fixtures are being squeezed harder and harder by domestic T20 leagues so changing the Test format may be a way to save them. I’d rather have four days of Test cricket than none. And I’d rather see three four day Tests than two five day Tests. We’ll get used to it.
Q – Where does AB fit back into the Test XI? And should he walk straight back in after almost a year away from Test cricket?
A – Good question, and one that I don’t believe anybody has the answer to at the moment. Yes, of course he should slot straight back in. Ottis Gibson may have ruffled a few selectorial feathers when he said that, if AB and Dale Steyn look him in the eyes and say ‘I’m ready’ then they will play. But they are the exceptional players of their generation and if they are fit then they play. No question. It is no secret that Faf du Plessis is struggling to be fit in time for the Boxing Day Test so that might be a simple, short-term solution. Long term I suspect Quinton de Kock might move back to seven with four specialist bowlers playing rather than an all rounder at six or seven.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to get in touch.