Batting-great Sachin Tendulkar has suggested that the International Cricket Council (ICC) must organise more Tests if the traditional format is to survive and credited Twenty20 cricket for making the five-day matches more result-oriented these days.
Tendulkar was speaking at the ESPNcricinfo awards night after being voted Cricketer of the Generation on Friday.
"The ICC should take notice of it and organise more Test matches if they want Test cricket to survive. (However), I still believe Test cricket is in good hands, players are producing unbelievable cricket," Tendulkar, who retired in November 2013, said.
"If you see all across the world, most of the Test matches, they have results, very few Test matches are drawn games nowadays and that is due to introduction of T20 as well. It is complementing each other," the 40-year-old added.
Tendulkar said for beginners, Twenty20 was the ideal format to follow and added that Test cricket should not be forced on players. "If you want more guys to follow cricket, T20 is an ideal format to introduce people to cricket. And then gradually go on to one-day cricket and Test cricket... You can't force someone to like Test cricket or be passionate about Test cricket. It is got to be within. If it doesn't exist with some individual, you should not force him, leave him, let him play one-day and T20 cricket. The guys who are passionate about Test cricket should play Test cricket."
But he made it clear that nothing was more challenging for a player than proving himself in Test cricket. "Test cricket is the ultimate challenge when it comes to picking up wickets or scoring runs. It is one format where bowlers are constantly trying to get you out," he said.
"In Tests, you require planning, vision and execution. It doesn't happen that much in T20 cricket. You can face three balls and get back to the pavilion as a hero. It doesn't happen in any other format," he said.
Tendulkar was of the view that T20 cricket has also impacted the ODI format, along with the new rules.
"Earlier 260 was a good total. In 92 World Cup or even 96 World Cup, there were not huge totals. Now consistently you see 300 plus totals and that this the change, which is also because of the rules and also because of T20 cricket.
"Batsmen are prepared to take more chances. Batsmen are playing innovative shots and bowlers are developing more variations. In the 90s, I don't think anyone bowled the slower ball bouncer like Shaun Pollock did in the latter stage of his career, now it's a regular variation in T20," he said.