Best time to popularize test cricket in India

Indian team became the number one test side after defeating Sri Lanka 2-0

India recently have been crowned as the number 1 test team in the world in the latest ICC rankings after their impressive 2-0 win against the Sri Lankans earlier last week. Even though I am really proud of the achievement I am also little bit frustrated by the fact that the Indian team isn’t playing any test cricket till October of 2010 after their short series against Bangladesh earlier next year. BCCI have canceled the test series against the South Africans which was supposed to take place in the month of February next year to accommodate the IPL.

It’s really baffling considering that India will still be playing the ODI series. Sachin Tendulkar has already expressed his displeasure over this situation. The Indian team has worked really hard over the past 18 months to achieve something which has been a dream for every Indian fan but it’s unfortunate that they don’t have an opportunity to maintain their position. While all the other nations have their itinerary packed with test matches throughout the year, India will be playing a bunch of ODI’s and T20 games.

So after the ODI series against the proteas, India will be playing the IPL at home followed by the T20 WC in West Indies, ODI series against the Aussies and then will be playing the champions league later the same year before they host the Black Caps for a full series. I would have been happier if the BCCI had canceled the ODI series against the South Africans and just played the three test series as that would have given an opportunity for India to widen their lead over the second placed team in the rankings if they had won the series. Unfortunately that will not be the case for Dhoni and his men at the moment.

BCCI has been rightly criticized in the media for their decision to cancel the test series to accommodate the IPL. The criticism seems to have worked though as suddenly the BCCI have discovered the necessity for India to play more test matches as they have requested both Australia and South Africa to consider a revision in the schedule to reduce the ODI games for couple of test matches. Even though it does seem like a ploy to clear their name in the media and the bad press they have been receiving for the past few days, I am at least happy that they are trying something. This is an excellent opportunity for the BCCI to popularize test cricket in India as we are now the number 1 team in the world.

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