Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has rated the Indian team as the number one Test side in the world. However, he also did not agree to the fact that shorter formats of the game have adversely affected Test cricket and reiterated that it is due to the T20 cricket that players like David Warner and Hardik Pandya have emerged.
In an interview with cricbuzz, Clarke said, “What is happening is a lot of senior players are opting out of the longer format at the back end of their careers. AB de Villiers has played over 100 Tests, JP Duminy too has been around for a while. I haven’t heard of a junior player who doesn’t want to play Test cricket. I think the shorter formats, including the T20 franchise leagues, have contributed enormously to the growth of the game. Without T20 cricket, we might not have seen a David Warner or a Hardik Pandya.”
When asked if the modern trend of players getting picked up from T20’s and then playing Test and ODI cricket is a viable mode, Clarke said, “I see nothing wrong with that. It sure is another option. My numbers in first-class cricket were not great, but I did well in the shorter format which earned me Test selection. To me, it doesn’t matter how you get there. What matters is whether you are ready when you are there and perform.”
Meanwhile, commenting on the ongoing series between India and Australia, the former skipper remained optimistic about his team’s chances. “I think Australia can still win the series, but for that, they need to find a way to win in Kolkata. The conditions here should suit them and they need to make it count.”