Cricket: De Villiers - Tests and ODIs should not be under threat

AB de Villiers thinks there is a place for all three formats in international cricket, saying both Tests and ODIs should survive.

South Africa batsman AB de Villiers does not feel Test cricket is facing a crisis despite uncertainty over his future in the longest format.

The mercurial batsman stepped down as Test captain last December while recovering from elbow surgery and has since opted to skip the series against England and Bangladesh.

With Twenty20 becoming increasingly popular over the years and the lure of playing in lucrative competitions such as the Indian Premier League and Big Bash, concerns have been raised over the future of Test cricket.

But De Villiers is hopeful that the most traditional of formats will be around forever.

"The way T20 has hit the ground, it was always going to be a challenge for Test cricket to keep the people involved and interested," the Proteas ODI skipper is quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo. "But the ICC have got it right in the last few years, not neglecting Test cricket.

"There's been some unbelievable Test cricket played over the last five to seven years. Some games I couldn't believe what I was witnessing. I've no doubt in my mind that the format is going nowhere; it's definitely here to stay... forever, hopefully.

"I love watching Test cricket and, as a player, I know it's the real challenge and the real test for a player. If you can survive in Test cricket, then you know you can play the game.

"I believe the ICC have got it right over the last few years to make sure Test cricket survives."

De Villiers, who missed Royal Challengers Bangalore's IPL opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad this week due to a back injury, also thinks there is still a place for the 50-over format on the international stage.

Asked if the importance of ODIs will decline, he replied: "Hopefully not, because I still want to win a World Cup. Hopefully it doesn't go away. [Once South Africa win the World Cup] then it can go! No, I'm kidding.

"I think the three formats that we have are very, very unique. Every single format is completely different. In T20, you see all the skills, the adrenaline rush and the match-winners coming out of nowhere.

"In ODI, it's almost a little bit of a taste of both the formats, where the bowler has got more time to work a batsman out, and a batsman has more time to get himself in and then express himself.

"It's a beautiful format; I wouldn't like to see it go anywhere. And, obviously, Test cricket - it's a test of endurance and mental skill. All three formats are so unique, and I really think there's room for all three formats to survive in the future."

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