Kolkata, Jan 31: Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan has called for India to give priority to Tests and if it gave too much emphasis to Twenty20s then India would be reduced to a "walkover team in Test cricket."
Imran said on Monday that if India gives too much emphasis to Twenty20 cricket and Indian Premier League (IPL) then it might be reduced to a "walkover team in Test cricket".
"India needs to think seriously... have they put too much emphasis on IPL, T20 cricket. It's great entertainment but how to compare T20 with Test cricket. Test cricket is the ultimate test of the skills of a player," he said.
"If India doesn't get the balance right, they are going to be just a walkover team in Test cricket."
"I can only use one word to describe India's form… Consistent!" Imran said talking about India's continued poor run in Test cricket.
"To lose eight Test matches in a row overseas is an achievement! It's a wake up call for Indian cricket. You need to analyse the causes… A team that won the World Cup and was No.1 in Tests a few months back is in the doldrums… If you want to be the leaders you can"t keep losing. If you pay so much emphasis on Twenty20 cricket, you"ve got to pay hugely. The connoisseurs will rate a player by his Test record and not what he"s done in T20s. Test cricket is the ultimate test of a player and that"s the reason Test records carry value. Talent can excel in one-dayers, but in Test cricket, your temperament and technique is tested besides the talent.
"India has to decide soon whether it prefers glamour, Bollywood and money to Test cricket. In my 20 years of cricket, I never made so much money as a mediocre player in T20 does today… I've nothing against players making money but cricket shouldn't suffer… You've got to balance the two.
"A youngster can easily get swayed by the frenzy that T20 cricket has developed… Bollywood, packed stands when compared to the empty stands and toil of Test cricket. Little does he realise then that the way you prepare for T20 is hugely different to Test cricket.
"The problem with India is you can't take 20 wickets in Tests. If a batsman lacks the defensive ability then… The balance has to be got right. Youngsters should remember that world cricket is judged on Test cricket and not T20.
On resuming Indo-Pak Cricket series, Imran said it is time to put the past behind and establish new relations between the two neighbouring cricketing nations.
"We have deprived the sub-continent of the pleasure of an Indo-Pak cricket series. The highlight of the World Cup was the semifinal between Pakistan and India. Let's put our past behind and move on. It's time for new relationship and new era," he said.
"We must go beyond Mumbai 26/11. Everybody in Pakistan condemned the person and the Mumbai incident. Even in Pakistan thousand people have died in terrorist attacks. It's time for new relationships and to resume Indo-Pak cricket series."