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'Tests are the real challenge'

The phenomenal success of Twenty20 notwithstanding, Tests would remain the ultimate challenge for a cricketer, says skipper Anil Kumble.
By HT Correspondent | Agencies, Colombo
UPDATED ON JUL 17, 2008 03:58 PM IST

The phenomenal success of Twenty20 notwithstanding, Tests would remain the ultimate challenge for a cricketer, says Indian skipper Anil Kumble.

“Test cricket is here to stay and players really feel privileged to be a part of Test cricket. Personally, I remember most of my milestones achieved in Test matches. It’s very hard for me to go back and pull out my best one-day performances,” Kumble said. Kumble felt the T20 craze among the fans has a lot to do with media’s frenzied coverage of the format.

“As a cricketer we value Test cricket than any other form. This series obviously will depend on how the media portrays it,” Kumble said. “When you talk about results 90 per cent of Test matches have produced results. It’s just that the talk and the success of the T20 that has probably made Test cricket look as if it has taken a back seat.” Kumble’s opposite number, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene echoed his views and said a cricketer’s success in Test cricket was the real indicator of his capability. “As cricketers the ultimate challenge for most us is Test cricket where we will be tested the most. T20 cricket is a different challenge, so is one-day cricket. Test cricket is where the cricketers are really tested,” Jayawardene said.

Meanwhile, former Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga once again stressed the need to rekindle the interest in the longer version of the game. Ranatunga, who once described the T20 as “three-minute Maggie noodles. Bang, bang, and it is over” called for protecting Test cricket. “It is very important to protect Test cricket. That has been my view from day one. When it comes to T20 it is more of a business. “You need Twenty20 to get more money but ultimately you've got to realise that Test cricket is the major concept. I feel that players should concentrate more on Test cricket and try and protect the game we all love,” Ranatunga said here on Tuesday.

Jayawardene eager to renew rivalry

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said that his team was keen to renew the rivalry with India in a three-Test series starting here next week.

“It’s a pretty good team for me to play against, We thoroughly enjoy playing India at home or away,” he said.

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