Empty stands: We should have only 5 strong Test centres, says Kohli

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.

Empty stands: We should have only  5 strong Test centres, says Kohli

Captain Virat Kohli with the winners’ trophy. AFP

Ranchi, October 22

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.

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 (both London), Trent Bridge (Nottingham), Old Trafford (Manchester), Edgbaston (Birmingham), Rose Bowl (Southampton) and Headingley (Leeds) are the seven main Test centres for any marquee series.

Asked about the empty stands in Ranchi, Kohli 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 said.

“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 said, not mincing 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.”

Rotation policy

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) follows the rotation policy for venues across formats, but it now has more than 15 Test centres. “I mean, I agree that you have state associations, rotation and giving games and all that,” Kohli reasoned. “That is fine in T20Is 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.” The Indian captain sees this as a challenge like his team faces when it travels. — PTI

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