South Africa secured victory in the opening Test in Centurion by an innings and 32 runs within three days.Subsequently, India triumphed in the second Test at Cape Town by seven wickets, concluding in just four and a half sessions, marking it as the shortest match played in the format.”I am not happy that there is not a third Test. You have to blame the T20 cricket going around the world for that. I do not know whom to blame, but I sense something is wrong. If you want to see all the teams compete and see who is the best Test team in the world, something has to change,” said de Villiers on his Youtube channel.
Despite concerns about the pitch conditions at Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, characterized by excessive variable bounce and seam movement for fast bowlers, De Villiers described the Cape Town pitch as ‘fairly typical’ or ‘standard.’
“It was a pretty stock-standard wicket, in my opinion. I remember jumping around there on day one. If you can just get through the first session on day one, it gets easier. If you see the players playing their shots and not hanging around, they were doing well.”
“I remember Ben Stokes scoring a double-hundred there. I scored some hundreds there. You cannot allow bowlers like Vernon Philander, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kagiso Rabada to keep bowling on off stump.”
South Africa’s upcoming Test challenge involves a two-match tour of New Zealand in February. However, their key players are set to remain in the country to participate in the second season of SA20, commencing on January 10. This decision is due to a scheduling conflict between the league and the Test tour of New Zealand.
The 14-member South Africa team for the New Zealand tour will be captained by opener Neil Brand, who is amongst the seven uncapped players in the team. The move brought immense criticism for South Africa in prioritising their franchise T20 league competition over a Test series for financial sustainability reasons.
South Africa name uncapped Neil Brand as captain for two-Test tour of New Zealand
De Villiers believes Test cricket is under pressure from T20s and admitted players and coaches would rather opt for franchise leagues than play the longer formats like Tests and ODIs.
“It (South Africa’s Test squad for New Zealand) has sent shockwaves around the cricketing world and has made it clear that Test cricket is under pressure, for that matter even ODI cricket and the whole system is turning around T20 cricket.”
“The players, the board and coaches will turn towards where there is more money. You cannot blame them for thinking about their future with their family.”
(With IANS Inputs)