Test cricket needs some great rivalries again to get back the interest the longest form of the game once held for fans, batting great Sachin Tendulkar said today.
“When I was growing up, I watched Imran Khan bowling to Sunil Gavaskar and their rivalry was really engaging. We saw how to defend on backfoot among many other things. The competitive rivalries of Viv Richards-Jeff Thompson, Curtly Ambrose-Steve Waugh, Brian Lara-Shane Warne generated a lot of interest among the fans.
“The West Indies were magnificent in the 1980s and also in the 1990s. The whole world’s target was to beat them. Then came Australia. They had nine world class players and two terrific players. If 3-4 of their players clicked and did the job, they would win. That is missing today,” said the 43-year-old.
The batting legend, who retired from the game in 2013, added that the mindset of the spectators had changed due to the advent of Twenty20 cricket and technology.
“The mindset of the people is changing. Twenty20s and technology has changed that mindset. When I was growing up, we were watching Tests and now kids watch T20,” Tendulkar told NDTV while speaking at the HT Leadership Summit.
Does he miss cricket post his retirement?
“I did not miss playing cricket after I retired but it is nice to play an exhibition game once in a while. I played three games in America with retired cricketers and the response was magnificent. But yes, I do miss the love and affection of the fans,” said Tendulkar, who played 200 Tests for India.
“It is nice that I get to do the things that I could not do while playing. Overall it has given me the opportunity to live life on my terms and and mingle around.”
With the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Anurag Thakur, seated in the front row, Tendulkar also suggested that cricket bosses needed to make the format of Test cricket more exciting to keep the fans hooked on.