‘Questions were against PAK, WI’: Cummins hoping SA’s weak Test side ‘a phase’ | Cricket

South Africa will be without almost all of their regular stars when they tour New Zealand for a two-match Test series in February. Cricket South Africa’s squad announcement has caused quite a few ripples around the world, with most of their stars choosing to stay back and play the SA20 T20 league instead.

Cummins said that the popularity of Test cricket doesn’t seemed to have waned in Australia(AFP)

This comes despite South Africa pitching themselves among the frontrunners to reach the World Test Championship (WTC) final in 2025 after beating India comprehensively in the recently concluded first Test. The development has led to serious questions being raised on the decline of importance of Test cricket for countries outside the ‘Big 3’ of India, Australia and England.

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Australia captain Pat Cummins however feels that the issue is more with the sheer amount of cricket being played and not about T20 cricket overshadowing Tests. “I think in some regards leading to this Test summer, some of the question marks were against Pakistan and West Indies. We’ve had two fantastic Test matches against Pakistan, really well-supported, big crowds. So I don’t think it’s in as dramatic a decline as sometimes it gets spoken about,” Cummins told reporters.

“But I think there is an issue just with the amount of other cricket out there, obviously competition for talent is higher than it’s ever been,” he continued. “My hopes are that it’s even stronger than it is now, in 10 years’ time or 20 years’ time.”

‘Every summer feels bigger than the last here in Australia’

Cummins said that the popularity of Test cricket doesn’t seemed to have waned in Australia considering the crowds they have got thus far in the two matches they played against South Africa. However, he also stated that this may not be the case in other countries.

“I grew up absolutely loving Test cricket,” Cummins said. “I think it does go through phases. I know the South African team aren’t sending their strongest side [to New Zealand]. I’m hoping it’s a phase. Every summer feels bigger than the last here in Australia, but obviously going overseas, that’s not the case. As a Test cricket lover, I wish everybody was watching Test cricket, but I’ve never seen cricket stronger than what it is at the moment,” he said.

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