Steve Smith has said that he is “slightly concerned” about the future of Test cricket in the face of expanding footprint for franchise-based leagues around the world. He also urged the cricket boards to give more importance to the longest format.
Speaking ahead of the World Test Championship final, the former Australia captain said that he still thinks that Test cricket is in a “good place” at the moment but hoped the format stayed alive in the time to come.
“Yeah, I am slightly concerned,” Smith said. “But yeah, hopefully Test cricket still stays alive and well. I think it’s in a good place at the moment. In terms of some of the games we’ve seen recently have been pretty amazing.
“So, yeah, for me as, I suppose, a traditionalist, someone that loves Test cricket, I hope it still remains at the front of all the board’s minds and stays alive and well for some time to come.”
Smith also spoke about how important this World Test Championship (WTC) final is to him and his team, and how it adds a bit of “relevance” to the format.
“Oh, I mean it’s really important. I think the WTC now, having the two best teams play in a final, I think that’s great. It adds a little bit more relevance, I suppose, to Test cricket. So it’s what we all work towards for a couple of years. And this week should be an exciting one and yeah the guys are looking forward to it.”
But how does a WTC final compare to the build-ups for ODI and T20 World Cups, both of which Smith has played in?
“Yeah, I’m not really sure. I haven’t thought too much about it in that aspect. It’s obviously been a good couple of years of Test cricket and to play in a final of the World Test Championship is pretty special.
“But yeah, I don’t know, until we sort of go out there and get started, I don’t know how it’ll feel. But it’s been a good build-up the last few days. We’ve had some good days training down in Beckenham and we get to have a hit at The Oval today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday). So, we’re looking forward to that,” Smith said.
Smith acknowledged India’s potent seam attack.
“I think they’ve got a good mix obviously of quality seam bowlers. Shami and Siraj, probably their two main guys who have really good skills and I think the Dukes ball suits them nicely. And then obviously their spinners as well, who bowl really well in all conditions. So, I think they’re a good attack.”