Pat Cummins expressed his hope that South Africa’s decision to send a squad with mostly uncapped players to New Zealand for the upcoming two-match Test series is just a temporary phase. The announcement by Cricket South Africa has raised eyebrows globally, as many regular stars have opted to stay back and participate in the SA20 T20 league instead.
Despite South Africa being considered among the favorites to reach the World Test Championship (WTC) final in 2025, especially after a convincing win against India in the recently concluded first Test, the move has ignited discussions about the declining significance of Test cricket, particularly for teams outside the ‘Big 3’—India, Australia, and England.
Pat Cummins, the Australian captain, sees the issue more as a result of the intense cricket schedule rather than T20 cricket overshadowing Test matches. He shared his perspective, stating, “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.”
However, Cummins acknowledged the challenge posed by the abundance of cricket and the heightened competition for talent. He expressed optimism about Test cricket’s future, saying, “My hopes are that it’s even stronger than it is now, in 10 years’ time or 20 years’ time.”
While Cummins highlighted the enduring popularity of Test cricket in Australia, evidenced by substantial crowds in the matches against South Africa, he acknowledged that the scenario might differ in other countries. Reflecting on his own love for Test cricket, Cummins emphasized that the sport goes through phases, and he hopes South Africa’s decision to field a less experienced side is just a passing phase. Despite challenges abroad, he remains optimistic about the strength of cricket, asserting, “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.”