Kolkata, Feb 2: Twenty20 cricket is fun, popular and money-spinning, but for former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, the five-day Test format is the ultimate yardstick of a cricketer’s skills.
The dashing left hander, who retired from international cricket four years back and played his career’s last Twenty20 game last year, feels ultimately a player is remembered for his performances in Test cricket which is entirely a “different ball game”.
“When you finish your cricket career, and go to cricket lectures, or see cricket archives, you will see photographs of Tiger (Mansoor Ali Khan) Pataudi, (Don) Bradman, (Sunil) Gavaskar, (Rahul) Dravid and (Sachin) Tendulkar who actually mastered test cricket.
“Ultimately you will be remembered for what you do in Test crikeet. T-20 is fun, it brings people to the ground, you can see Shah Rukh Khan dancing on the stands.
“But in Test cricket when you see (fast bowlers) Brett Lee or a (Glenn) Mcgruth who is going past your nose for six hour in a day, it’s a different ball game,” Ganguly said at the Kolkata Literary Meet after unveiling veteran actress Sharmila Tagore’s book on her husband Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi.
Ganguly had no doubt in picking the best among the three formats of the game – Tests, One Dayers and T20s.
“Test cricket will always be the best of the three. T20 will bring you the money. But if a player is to survive in t20 cricket, he has to be a good Test crickeer,” Ganguly said.
Drawing the attention of the packed hall to the “big boys” in t20 cricket making money, he said: “It is the likes of (Jacques) Kallis, Tendulkar, (Kevin) Pietersen and (M.S.) Dhoni who have all performed in Test cricket.”
Ganguly felt while great Test players have come good in the T20 version of the game, the reverse has rarely happened as “it is always easier to adapt from the highest level to the lower level”.
He said he asked Dravid sometime back why at the age of 40 he was training for the IPL. “I asked Rahul what he was trying to do at the age of 40, trying to hit a sixer of every delivery, when he was actually the master of Test cricket”.