India is playing its 501st Test at the moment and the hosts are looking to make it a memorable one since it is also their 250th home Test. The venue holds several sweet memories for the Indians, barring a few matches like the 1996 World Cup semi-final.
The Eden Gardens has witnessed a lot of great innings from legends like Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing India-New Zealand series, Anil Kumble came out all guns blazing in support of Test cricket at an event in Kolkata on Sunday.
As a testimonial to the 500 Test matches that India has played so far, The Hindu Group and Sportstar released a book, India 500 Tests, on Sunday. The book covers all the precious memories that the Indian team has witnessed right from its first Test.
The book was praised by some of India’s legends like Bishan Singh Bedi, Anil Kumble and Virender Sehwag, who were present at the ceremony.
Kumble, Sehwag, and Laxman were also engaged in a panel discussion called "Future of Test Cricket", accompanied by renowned cricket columnist Suresh Menon, where the former cricketers spoke about the future of Test cricket, among other things.
Kumble optimistic about Test cricket
Former India captain and present coach Anil Kumble seemed to be confident about the status of Test cricket when he was asked about its survival and future.
The leading wicket-taker of India sent a sharp message to all those questioning the position of Test cricket at the international arena and said, "Test cricket will survive. Don't talk about its death". He went on to add, "If we keep talking about the death of Tests, then one day it will happen".
Kumble continued and said, “The current players love to play the format. There are challenges, yes. The youngsters are growing up watching T20. The challenge is to give them same kind of adrenaline in Test. Maybe it would be a challenge in terms of globalisation.”
Sehwag not a fan of pink-ball cricket
Sehwag was of the view that Test cricket is still interesting and expressed his displeasure regarding the pink-ball experiment.
"The Test format is so good that you don't need to change. You don't need to bring that pink ball to bring in spectators. If good teams like Pakistan, Australia and England come people will come and support," said the former opening batsman.
Earlier, the ICC had come up with the idea of a two-tier Test system in order to make Test cricket more attractive and competitive.
The questions regarding the survival of Test cricket have been doing rounds over the past few years, with many claiming the loss of its essence.
Anil Kumble has given a stern and fitting statement for those questioning the value of Test cricket, which may well silence the format’s critics.