Spicing up Test cricket - some suggestions

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/c/cricind.jpg' class='caption'> Eliminating the toss, home-friendly pitches, more bouncers, neutral venues - these are what NDTV.com recommends. What about you?

Updated: April 15, 2008 12:42 IST
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New Delhi:

In the times of Twenty20 cricket, how can the Test match retain its relevance?

NDTV.com has some suggestions. Readers can send their suggestions too.

Eliminate the toss

On certain pitches, winning or losing the toss can make a huge difference. In India, visiting teams would not want to bat fourth because the ball turns and jumps towards the end. Conversely, in England, teams would want to bat second so that the pitch becomes easier to bat on later.

Statistics indicate that teams perform better at home. A radical idea to make Tests more result-oriented would be to eliminate the toss and let the visiting team have the option of choosing who bats first.

Pitches that cater to local strengths

Now that we've empowered visiting teams by doing away with the toss, let's have pitches that seam, turn, bounce. Let there be square turners at the Kotla. Let WACA be environment friendly green. Let Leeds and Durban seam at acute angles.

Variety in pitches would give Test cricket a local flavour. And with the toss advantage gone, home sides will have to play harder to win.

More bouncers per over

Bowlers everywhere are in dire need of empowerment. The run rates are higher, the bats are bigger, and penalties for erring in line and length have never been harsher.

Let's have some balance please. Fast bowlers could be empowered by amending the rule of two bouncers per over.

Let's have four or more per over, as long as the bowler isn't bowling wide purposely.

More neutral games?

Test matches at neutral venues is something that has not been explored. We've seen Australia-Pakistan games in Colombo and Sharjah but that was after Australia opted to not tour Pakistan for safety concerns.

Neutral games may not work with most teams. But sub-continental teams have a huge following around the world. The Sahara Cup played in Toronto between India and Pakistan was followed with fanfare. When the ICC can take T20 and 50-over games around the world, it should try giving Test cricket a neutral platform.

How do you think Test cricket can be made more interesting. Send us your suggestions...

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