Virat Kohli, best batsman in the world, believes former England skipper

Michael Brearley, who played 39 Test matches, also heaped praise on India skipper Virat Kohli while terming him a “sort of genius batsman”.

Former England captain Michael Brearley backed day-night Tests and castigated India for spurning the chance to play a day-night match on their current tour to Australia.

He also batted strongly for the International Cricket Council’s proposed World Test Championship and said it would give a much-needed fillip to the longest format of the game.

“It (World Test Championship) will help. They (the concerned authorities) have to do everything they can to help (Test cricket). Day-night Test matches are one thing too. I was very sorry to hear that India refused to play a day-night Test in Adelaide. That was short-sighted,” Brearley told PTI on the sidelines of the “Tata Lit Live” festival.

He was specifically asked about how ICC’s World Test Championship would help the game.

“I think the Test Championships will help. What somebody raised in our discussion today, to have proper facilities for people coming to Test matches in India, will (also) help.

“Making people comfortable in Test matches, marketing Test matches, all these things have to be done as much as possible for Test cricket, finding windows for Test cricket, which will not be interfered by domestic T20 series,” Brearley said.

As per the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) plan, the nine top-ranked sides will compete in the championship with each side playing six series on a home-and-away basis against mutually selected opponents in a two-year cycle.

The cycle will begin soon after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, with the Ashes in England set to kick-start the event. The top two sides will then contest in the ICC World Test Championship final in June, 2021.

Brearley, along with journalist Boria Majumdar and Sebastian Faulks, took part in a panel discussion titled “11 Gods Inside and Outside the Temple — Why cricket is a religion’“ as part of the literature fest.

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The 76-year-old Brearley, who played 39 Test matches, also heaped praise on India skipper Virat Kohli while terming him a “sort of genius batsman”.

“He (Kohli) is a wonderful batsman, the best batsman in the world. He averages over 50 (and) has a very good rate of scoring in T20s, One Day Internationals and Test cricket.

He forms a bridge between these different forms of batting and brings classic batsmanship to T20 cricket. I think he is sort of a genius as a batsman,” Brearley noted.

The former England opener said he was impressed by India’s bowlers when they toured England earlier this year but gave a guarded reply when asked how did he rate the team’s chances in Australia.

India are set to play three T20s and as many ODIs plus four Test matches in their gruelling tour Down Under, with the T20s set to begin on November 21.

“I think they (India) are probably as good as ever as they have been going to Australia. Their top bowlers are very, very good and we were all impressed by them in England,” said Brearley.

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