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'Tests are ultimate challenge'

Indian skipper Anil Kumble feels that the phenomenal success of Twenty20 notwithstanding, Tests will remain the ultimate challenge for a cricketer.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Colombo
UPDATED ON JUL 16, 2008 01:03 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 Twenty20 craze among the fans has a lot to do with media's frenzied coverage of the format. The veteran leg-spinner hoped that the media would give an equally exhaustive coverage to his side's Test series against Sri Lanka starting in Colombo on July 23.

"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. I don't see why there should be a decline in that issue, it's just that the talk and the success of the Twenty20 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. Twenty20 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 Twenty20 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 Twenty20 it is more of a business.

"You need Twenty20 to get more money but ultimately you've got to realize 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 in Colombo on Wednesday.

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