Proteas players not in favour of four-day Tests

Two of South Africa’s senior players, captain Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar, are not in favour of four-day Test cricket even though their board (CSA) wants to trial the concept later this year.

CSA has scheduled a four-day Test against Zimbabwe, set to be played in Port Elizabeth on Boxing Day, but are awaiting approval from the ICC for the game to go ahead.

Speaking after the Proteas beat Bangladesh in the first Test in Potchefstroom in a match that went to the fifth day, Du Plessis was of the opinion that players have to work harder to achieve results if the game is five days.

Du Plessis said: “I am a fan of five-day Test cricket. I believe the great Test matches have gone to the last hour of the last day on day five. That’s what is so special about Test cricket.

“In four-day cricket or first-class cricket, it does feel easier because there are only four days.

“For five days you have to graft it out. Bowlers have to bowl a lot more and batters have to construct much bigger innings.

“This Test proved that a day five was needed. If it was a rain-off yesterday, it would have been very disappointing so I am a fan of that.”

Opening batsman Elgar feels the longest version of the game should not be experimented with even though there is concern around the world about the support for Test cricket.

Elgar, who is not a first-choice pick for international limited-overs cricket, believes Tests do get good enough crowds.

The left-handed batsman said: “I don’t think you should tinker with something that’s not broken. If you go and play around the world, Test cricket is followed quite well.

“If you play in Australia, if you play in England, even if you play in South Africa against the relatively big nations you still get very good crowds.

“There are other formats that are being experimented with. I don’t see why Test cricket should suffer. I am a purist when it comes to that. Hopefully the game can have longevity in the five-day format.”