Sports, Cricket

India should have only five Test centres - Virat Kohli

Published : 23 Oct 2019 09:52 PM | Updated : 03 Sep 2020 01:00 AM

Virat Kohli wants India to play their home Tests at only five venues. He did not name them but said Test cricket in India should be distributed across "strong Test centres" as they are in other countries. Kohli said this in response to a question about whether India should restrict the home Tests to the traditional big-city venues - Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bengaluru.

India follow a rotation policy to allot their home games in all formats, and South Africa's just-concluded tour took place at three venues that were each hosting just their second-ever Test matches: Visakhapatnam, Pune and Ranchi. "We've been discussing this for a long time now, and in my opinion we should have five Test centres, period," Kohli said, after the conclusion of the Ranchi Test. "I mean, I agree [with] state associations and rotation and giving games and all that, that is fine for T20 and one-day cricket, but Test cricket, teams coming to 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 that will come to watch, crowds'.

"So that becomes a challenge already, when you're leaving your shores, because we go to any place, we know we're having four Test matches in these venues, this is what the pitch is going to offer, it's going to be a full stadium, the crowd's behind the [home] team, and look, you want to keep Test cricket alive and exciting. I totally agree with the fact that we need five Test centres at the max.

"It can't be sporadic and spread over so many places where people turn up or they don't, so in my opinion, absolutely. You should have five strong Test centres that teams coming to India know that this is where they're going to play."