De Villiers blames T20 cricket for short India-South Africa series

De Villiers said 'something has to change' if the best team in the world is to be identified, advocating longer series.

Durban: Legendary all-rounder AB de Villiers is annoyed that India and South Africa played only a couple of Test matches in the just concluded series and blamed proliferation of T20 leagues across the world for the situation.

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De Villiers said “something has to change” if the best team in the world is to be identified, advocating longer series.

South Africa and India shared the honours with the hosts winning the opening Test in Centurion and the visitors emerging victorious in Cape Town.

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“I am not happy that there is not a third Test. You have to blame the T20 cricket going around the world for that,” he said on his YouTube channel.

“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.”

South Africa will next be travelling to New Zealand in February, again for a two-Test series.

However, eyebrows were raised when Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced a second-string squad for the series, with uncapped Neil Brand to lead the side.

The series is clashing with the second season of the SA20 League, set to run between January 10-February 10, with most of the top Proteas cricketers playing in the tournament.

De Villiers feels Test cricket is under pressure and admitted that the players and coaches would opt for competitions that offer handsome money.

“It 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,” he said.

Cape Town wicket was pretty stock-standard

As far as the India-South Africa Test series is concerned, while the hosts won in Centurion by an innings and 32 runs within three days, the visitors prevailed by seven wickets in Cape Town within just two days.

Consequently, concerns were raised about the standard of the pitch in Cape Town. However, de Villiers termed the wicket as “pretty stock-standard”.

“It (Cape Town) was a pretty stock-standard wicket, in my opinion. I remember jumping around there on Day 1.

“If you can just get through the first session on Day 1, 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,” he concluded.

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