Steve Smith, the renowned Australian cricketer, has voiced his apprehensions about the future of Test cricket due to the increasing prevalence of franchise-based leagues worldwide. As the ICC’s World Test Championship (WTC) final approaches, Smith emphasized the importance of preserving and prioritizing the traditional format. While acknowledging the current strength of Test cricket, he expressed hope that it would continue to thrive in the years to come.
In anticipation of the WTC final, Smith admitted to feeling “slightly concerned” about the future of Test cricket. He stressed the need for cricket boards to keep the format at the forefront of their minds and ensure its longevity. Despite believing that Test cricket is presently in a “good place,” Smith emphasized his affection for the format and expressed his desire for it to remain alive and well in the ever-changing cricket landscape.
Smith underscored the significance of the WTC final, considering it a vital event for him and his team. The match between the two best Test teams holds great importance and adds a sense of “relevance” to the format. After years of preparation, the WTC final serves as a culmination of the teams’ efforts. Smith’s team is eagerly looking forward to the final, recognizing the special nature of the occasion.
When asked about the comparison between the WTC final and the buildups for ODI and T20 World Cups, Smith admitted that he hadn’t pondered the matter extensively. He acknowledged the unique nature of playing in a World Test Championship final and stated that the team’s true feelings would only become apparent once they took the field. The team has had a productive buildup with training sessions, which has further fueled their anticipation for the upcoming match at the Oval.
Reflecting on the past Border-Gavaskar series losses to India, Smith acknowledged the formidable nature of India’s bowling attack. He highlighted the balanced combination of skillful seam bowlers such as Shami and Siraj, who excel with the Dukes ball, along with India’s proficient spinners. Smith acknowledged the need for Australia to perform well against India’s diverse bowling arsenal in the forthcoming WTC final.