Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli wants India to play their home test matches at only five centers. Although he remained silent about which venues should be chosen for playing the tests, he made reference to other countries that distributed their tests across various “strong test centers.” Kohli made these remarks in response to a query whether India should restrict their test games to only major cities like Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
The recently concluded tour of South Africa took place at three venues – Pune, Ranchi and Vishakhapatnam indicating the rotational policy followed by India for allotting home matches in different formats.
Selection of Specific Venues for Test Matches
Post the Ranchi Test, the Indian captain revealed that there were major discussions going on for a long time regarding test venue selection. He believes that Test venues should be restricted to five major cities only. He stated that while it is important for cricket to be staged across the country, this rotational policy should be restricted to one-day and T-20 games.
By establishing a set base for test venues in India, away teams who were coming to play in India will be better prepared to as they will know where the test matches will take place, what pitches they should be preparing for and the type of crowd that they have to face.
Which Test Centers Should Be Chosen?
Kohli further added to his comments by saying that countries like England and Australia follow this policy when it comes to test venues and makes it easy on the touring teams.
England play their test matches across six traditional venues – The Oval, Lord’s, Manchester, Nottingham, Leeds, and Birmingham. Similarly, Australia also hosts their Test matches in six major venues – Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, and Perth. Kohli also pointed out that there is a specific sequence or pattern in which these cities host their Tests, such as the last Test played during the English summer is hosted at The Oval, and the New Year’s Tests are traditionally played at the SCG and in Cape Town.
In contrast, India has played home tests at 18 different grounds and 27 venues to date. While the major venues have hosted the most number of Tests, the smaller towns and cities are often overlooked. Referring to the recently-concluded South Africa’s tour of India, he mentioned that though the stadiums hosting the test saw a decent turnout, the stadiums lacked proper infrastructure.