Sachin Tendulkar has been very vocal about how Test cricket is the ultimate fornat of the game. In the past, Tendulkar has outlined the kind of innovations that can be implemented in order to keep Test cricket alive. In the ongoing Ashes contest between England and Australia, the pitches have provided for good cricket with both bat and ball. The Lord's Test in particular, saw Jofra Archer bowl with fire and getting good assistance from the wicket while Steve Smith produced some classical knocks in swinging conditions to keep Australia's noses ahead in the five-match series.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Mumbai Half Marathon, Tendulkar said providing good pitches was essential in ensuring Test cricket remained the ultimate format of the game. "The heart of Test cricket is the kind of surface that you play on. If you provide good pitches, cricket cannot be boring, cricket cannot be damp, and (there will always) be those exciting moments, exciting bowling spells, great batting and that is what people want to see. I think Test cricket is going to revive if we produce interesting tracks, but if the tracks are flat and dead then Test cricket is going to find its challenges. I know this Test World Championship has been announced but even to have this World Championship, you got to make cricket interesting, just by having another championship, cricket is not going to get interesting," Tendulkar said.
The master blaster, considered one of the greatest batsman in the history of the sport, has said the Archer vs Smith duel at Lord's was simply sensational and outlined the essence of what Test cricket actually is.
"Smith got injured unfortunately, that was a big blow to him but Test cricket was exciting when Jofra Archer challenged him, it suddenly became exciting and the focus shifted to Test cricket. At Lord's they lost almost a day and half, but the Test match got exciting even on the last day when England picked those wickets and Australia had to survive. Test cricket suddenly became exciting and that is how it should be," Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar heaped praise on Marnus Labuschagne, who scored three consecutive fifties in the series and came on as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith who suffered a blow from Archer during the Lord's Test. Labuschagne's discipline and toughness after being hit thrice on the helmet has gotten the notice of Tendulkar and the former India cricket team batsman stressed on the art of patience.
"I have been watching a little bit of Ashes and I thought someone like Marnus Labuschagne has left the ball brilliantly, which is something that you don't get to see in Test cricket. Normally you tend to glide those balls to third man and pick a single. But the kind of surfaces they are playing on, if you steer the ball you go to the dressing room. You need to leave those balls or defend solidly. And the guys who have not been able to do that, they have been watching the game from the dressing room," Tendulkar added.