He is not the one to be enamoured by the razzmatazz of T20 cricket and that’s the reason why Ian Bothan thinks that India needs to understand that there is more to the game than the shortest format only.
“I am disappointed with Indian cricket right now. Cricket is more than just a 20-over game, they need to understand that. England’s contests with India always used to excite me but right now, I don’t know what to say,” the legendary all-rounder did not mince words during an interaction with Indian journalists on the sidelines of Laureus World Sports Awards.
Botham has some solid reasons to be disappointed as the last two away Test series in England saw India lose by 0-4 and 1-3 margins respectively.
They have also lost a home Test series to England back in 2012.
“Where is India going in Test cricket? Why is it happening to the team. Is it saturation of Twenty20? India needs to figure out,” Botham seemed baffled in the manner India has treated Test cricket.
India may be ranked 3rd in the ICC Test rankings but that does not cut much ice with the veteran who has 5,200 runs and 383 wickets in 102 Test matches for England.
“Look I don’t understand rankings. England, South Africa and Australia are playing the best Test cricket to my mind,” he was forthright in his assessment.
Botham was speaking on how well Australia and England have held on to their Test culture before expressing his disappointment with India, who are interestingly playing mostly Test cricket this year .
“Australia has an established Big Bash, it’s pretty well fitted in the calendar. England is also alright with a proper set up. Look you can have Twenty20 matches but it cannot be week in and week out. People get bored of it,” he said.
England are scheduled to tour India in November-December this year to play five Test matches.
“That should be a good series, I am looking forward to it because England have been doing really well. They have revamped the system, gone to factory settings and are looking good,” he said.