Four-day Tests vs five-day Tests: Who said what on changing cricket’s longest format

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Shared News| January 3, 2020 9:58:45 am

England’s Jos Buttler is among those to have said Tests can be truncated by a day; Australia’s Nathan Lyon is among those who have not been convinced by the proposal.

The proposal to shorten Test matches by a day has been met with strong opinions from both sides of the divide. The ICC is reportedly mulling four-day Tests from the 2023-2031 cycle.

In the last decade, only 51 percent of Tests saw the fifth day, but the availability of the fifth day was integral to how teams approached the preceding days as well.

The yay sayers

Joe Root: “I do think it’s worth trialing and it might not always make sense for England to play especially if its against Australia or some of the bigger sides but it might draw a bit more interest with some of the countries who struggle to get people in the ground.”

Jos Buttler: “I think the game has changed and if four-day Test cricket could preserve and potentially improve Test cricket I think it has to be looked at. I think we all love a five-day finish with all three results possible on the last day but can four-day cricket be a success? I think if it’s done properly it can be. In this day and age we have to consider all the opportunities to see how we can do what’s best for Test cricket.”

Tim Paine: “I think it should be taken into consideration. I dare say going back six or seven years if you let the players decide on pink ball that probably wouldn’t have happened. There is always going to be some give and take. I think there is some merit on it being in the odd Test like we did with England and Ireland. But I think the big marquee Test series, the Test championship stuff has to stay five days.”

Rassie van der Dussen: “In the calendar these days, it’s definitely something that you have to consider. The pitch does deteriorate enough in four days to get a result and I think that will also make groundsmen prepare pitches that will force results in four days.”

Michael Vaughan: “We need to make Test cricket more relevant and more appealing. It might just bring a little more relevance if it gets shortened.”

The nay sayers

Brett Lee: “Five for me. It might be over four days anyway but five for me.”

Michael Hussey: “I think this is going to gain some momentum. I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens in the future they’re doing a lot of work on it. But personally for me, I’m five days as well.”

Vernon Philander: “I hope five-day Test cricket doesn’t come to an end. There is only one format and that’s Test cricket. T20 cricketers come and go and the names come and go, Test cricket is the ultimate. Hopefully we can still see five-day Test matches. I know there has been a lot of talk about having four-day Test matches but I am a purist when it comes to cricket and I would like to see Test matches survive for five days.”

Nathan Lyon: “Ridiculous. I’m not a fan of four-day Test matches. One, there’s the weather element. But the wickets these days are probably a lot flatter than they have been in the past, so it allows teams to bat longer and to put pressure on sides. You need time for the pitch to deteriorate and bring spinners in more on day five as well.

Glenn Mcgrath: “I’m very much a traditionalist I like the game the way it is. To me five days is very special and I’d hate to see it get any shorter. The introduction of pink Tests, day-night Tests is a great way to continue keeping our game fresh and moving forward. In respects to changing how many days its played, I’m actually against it. I like the way it is.”

On the fence

Sourav Ganguly: “First we will have to see the proposal, let it come and then we will see. It’s too early to say. Can’t comment just like this.”

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