New Delhi:Young players lack the "all-consuming" desperation to do well in Test cricket because they have other options, feels former India captain Rahul Dravid.
Dravid said teenage cricketers make all the right noise when they talk about Test cricket being the pinnacle of the game but fears they don't have the fierce passion of their seniors who would do whatever it takes to do well in this format.
"I think they say the right thing. They talk the talk, there's no doubt about it. But there is no all-consuming desperation for them like it was for myself or cricketers of my generation to do well in Test cricket," Dravid said.
"First-class and Test cricket were the only cricket we had. Today there are more opportunities," he said.
According to Dravid, things would get only worse if Test cricket was not restored to its health.
"I'm not even worried about the (Suresh) Rainas and the Rohit Sharmas today; they've grown up in an era when Test cricket was important. But I wonder what a 14-15-16-year old today is thinking. I wonder what's going to happen five years ahead and that's why it's important to play more Test matches," Dravid explained.
Dravid said BCCI should have a set domestic calendar covering a six-seven months period, during which India would play their international home matches, including a larger number of Tests.
"We must have our own domestic calendar, or six or seven months that are ideal for us to play cricket. And play our quota of six Tests and a certain set number of ODIs during that period, and then work around that," he said.
Dravid said BCCI should use its clout to convince other boards to accept the calendar.
"Everyone around the world needs to recognise that Test cricket needs to thrive in India. Everyone knows now that it is important Test cricket succeeds in India for it to succeed worldwide as well," he said.
"People have to come to this realisation in some other countries and recognize that India now needs to have a set international calendar for the benefit of the world game really," Dravid said.
He also insisted that India's bilateral Test series should invariably feature three matches and not just two, like in the recent series against South Africa.
"Three Test matches is ideal. In my whole career now, I've played only one Test series (against West Indies in 1997) which has included five Tests and in the olden days that (five Tests) was the norm. In this case, with the talk of the Australian series coming up, these have come in outside of the calendar," he said.