Arjuna Ranatunga, the former Sri Lankan skipper, has said Test cricket would ‘die’ when players like Sachin Tendulkar announce their retirement.
“If players like him don’t play the longer version of the game, Test cricket will die. I pray to God he continues to play Test cricket,” Ranatunga, in Bangalore as part of a delegation promoting Sri Lanka Tourism, was quoted as saying by PTI. “I was very happy to know he has retired from ODIs. For me, Test is education and the shorter versions are entertainment.”
Ranatunga, who captainced Sri Lanka to their only World Cup title in 1996, said Tendulkar still had a lot of cricket left in him. “If he plays one good knock, I am sure he will play two-three years more without a problem,” he said.
Ranatunga called the International Cricket Council ‘toothless’ for its inability to ensure that the Decision Review System was implemented worldwide. “I am not blaming BCCI, but blaming ICC for not making DRS compulsory,” he said. “They should not allow home countries to take decisions on the matter. “They (ICC) shout, but hardly bite. I have always said that they haven’t changed. ICC should protect the game, not individual countries on the DRS issue.”
Ranatunga said even if the BCCI pushed the ICC into a corner, it should have the spine to take bold decisions and make it mandatory for all nations to use DRS. “This system is the best thing that has happened to cricket in the last 20 years and I feel DRS should be adopted by all countries,” he said. “We would have been better batsmen, bowlers and fielders if the DRS was there in our time.”
Ranatunga said Twenty20 has ruined cricket as it does not create technically sound players. “They are more concerned about playing the shorter version of the game, earning money, not playing for the country,” he said. “I still remember it was a great concern for us to get India out because they had quality batsmen like Rahul Dravid, Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly. But now, we get to see a side folding up before lunch as it lacks technique.”
On India’s chances in the four-match Test series against Australia, Ranatunga said, “Without technique you cannot survive in Test cricket. India have very good hitters but they need to concentrate on technique,” he said. “The technique of the first six Indian batsmen, barring a few, is abysmal. Australia, on the other hand, is an inexperienced side.”
Ranatunga said nobody should comment on Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership because he was the only Indian to have led the side to two World Cup wins. “I think India should allow Dhoni to captain.”