India will look to continue their impressive run at home when they lock horns against Bangladesh in the first Test of two-match series at Holkar Stadium in Indore starting Thursday. After the South Africa series, Indian captain Virat Kohli had asked the BCCI to identify five Test centres in India in order to start a culture which will help nurture the longest format in India. Ahead of the first Test, he reiterated the point and clarified that his statements were not meant for any specific city or Test venue, but it was more aimed towards making Tests a brand in India.
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“If you see the ratio – there is good crowd in Indore, but then there are other places where people did not turn up. So you cannot give matches to one stadium and not to the other grounds. When we go overseas, we know we will play in Sydney, MCG. Perth and Brisbane. So we know what to expect, the different types of crowds and these things only help foster a culture. Indore is a place where you will not find even one vacant seat for T20s, there might still be few empty seats for Tests, hence, this is a proposal which is not meant to take matches away from any venue. It is also not about criticising any city. This is all part of a vision which is aimed at taking Test cricket to a higher pedestal. We are discussing things based on these points,” Kohli told reporters.
“We are all trying to figure out ways and means to keep Test cricket vibrant and according to me, this was one of the options. Let’s see now how it is executed in the future,” the captain further added.
In contrast to the practice in England, Australia, or South Africa, which have traditional Test venues, matches in India are allotted by rotation and this was what Kohli had asked to be done away with after the South Africa series.
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“And, in my opinion, we should have five Test centres. Period. 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’re 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,” he said.