India captain Virat Kohli is against the prospect of reducing Test matches to four days and fears it could eventually lead to debates over the future of the format. 

Four-day Tests are among the proposals the International Cricket Council is considering as they organise the international calendar for the period from 2023 until 2031.

Kohli is preparing his team for limited-overs matches against Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand this month.

But the 31-year-old, who has 27 Test centuries, took the opportunity to speak out against the proposed changes to the longest format of the game.

"I am not a fan," he told reporters about four-day Tests. "I think the intent will not be right because then you will speak of three-day Tests. 

"Where do you end? Then you will speak of Test cricket disappearing. I don't endorse that at all.

"I don't think that's fair to the purest format of the game, how cricket started initially. 

"Five-day Test matches was the highest you can have at the international level. According to me, it shouldn't be altered."

Optional four-day Tests and day-night matches in the longest format are already in operation. Kohli is more of a fan of the latter change, which he thinks boosts crowds and levels of interest.

"Day-night cricket is the most that should be changed about Test cricket, according to me," added Kohli, the world's number one batsman in Tests and ODIs.

"Then you're purely going to be talking about getting the numbers in and entertainment. I think it is very, very crucial to market Test cricket like we do for T20 and one-day cricket. 

"If there's enough buzz created around Test cricket, then there will be a lot more keenness to come to the stadiums.

"Day-night is another step towards commercialising Test cricket and creating excitement around it but it can't be tinkered with too much. I don't believe so."

Of other new formats, Kohli explained why he had steered clear of the England and Wales Cricket Board's new The Hundred competition.

He said: "T20 was a revelation in terms of introduction of a new format. 

"I was asked about the 100-ball format and I said I am not going to go and try myself out in another format because there's already so much going on."

Given the two T20 World Cups under the belt of the West Indies, it may be no surprise that the Caribbean side has dominated ESPN’s best XI in the format over the last decade.

ESPN had come up with a list of its best XI in Test, One-Day and T20 Internationals and while there were no West Indians in the two longer formats of the game, they may have made up for it in the shortest.

At the top of the order comes Chris Gayle, T20’s all-time leading run-scorer. Interestingly, the opening spots have been covered by the West Indies with Sunil Narine earning a pick for his innovative pinch-hitting at the top of the order.

India’s Virat Kohli comes at number three in the batting line-up, with South Africa’s AB de Villiers locking down number four.

At five, ESPN has gone with another Indian in veteran Mahendra Singh Doni before turning again to the Caribbean where West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell can decide who bats six and seven.

At number eight, the best in the world this decade, according to the writers at ESPN, comes Dwayne Bravo before the leg-spin option of Rashid Khan. Narine, is, of course, the other spinner in the side.

Sri Lankan great, Lasith Malinga makes the best team of the decade next, while Jasprith Bumrah finds his way into the side as the second seamer. The two are seen as the best death bowlers in the world because of their ability to bowl Yorkers.

Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva have been recalled to Sri Lanka's Twenty20 squad for their three-match tour of India.

Former skipper Mathews has not represented his country in the shortest format since August 2018, while Dhananjaya's most recent T20I appearance came last March. 

However, both are now back in favour as Sri Lanka look to bounce back from three comprehensive defeats in their last T20 series against Australia.

Nuwan Pradeep misses out due to an injury sustained in practice, meaning Kasun Rajitha retains his place in a 16-man squad.

Shehan Jayasuriya, who played the last T20 in Australia, is the other player to be cut from Sri Lanka's previous selection.

The squad will leave for India on Thursday, ahead of the first T20 on Sunday.

The evolving world of sport means a new decade is likely to see widespread change.

With superstars like Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Roger Federer and Lewis Hamilton unlikely to be plying their trades in 2030, the stage is set for new names to come to the fore.

Omnisport's team of writers have tipped 20 20-year-olds to do just that over the next 10 years.

 

Men's football: Joao Felix

A €126m move from Benfica to Atletico Madrid made Joao Felix the second most expensive teenager in football history. His career in LaLiga is yet to truly ignite but the forward's lavish gifts are beyond doubt as he faces up to the decade when Cristiano Ronaldo will leave the stage for their native Portugal. Joao Felix is the anointed heir.

Basketball: Luka Doncic

The 2018 EuroLeague MVP and 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year, Doncic's incredible rise has continued unchecked this season – he is averaging 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9.0 assists for the Dallas Mavericks. He should earn a first All-Star appearance this season and make his bow in the playoffs, where you would expect to see him featuring regularly in the coming years.

Cricket: Prithvi Shaw

Opening batsman Shaw became the youngest Indian to score a Test hundred on debut in 2018 and followed that up with a half-century in his second appearance. However, last year was one to forget for Shaw, who had injury problems before serving a six-month doping ban having taken a substance typically found in cough syrups. A first-class double hundred last month suggests he is ready to make up for lost time.

Tennis: Marketa Vondrousova

Although she was unable to win a title on the WTA Tour in 2019, Vondrousova was the runner-up at the French Open – one of three final appearances last year – and having risen to 16th in the world rankings she looks set to break the top 10 soon. The Czech's unorthodox playing style and penchant for drop shots makes her a particularly entertaining watch.

Formula One: Lando Norris

Norris enjoyed an excellent debut season in Formula One, helping McLaren to an impressive fourth place in the constructors' championship. After landing three straight points finishes to end the year, he carries momentum into 2020 and looks capable of challenging Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen over the next 10 years.

UFC: Chase Hooper

Featherweight Hooper was awarded a development deal after winning the second season of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series in 2018 and is the youngest fighter on the UFC roster. He improved his unbeaten mixed martial arts record to 8-0-1 by stopping David Teymur in the first round of a thoroughly impressive UFC debut in December.

American football: Trevor Lawrence

The NFL is blessed with talented young quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson, but the potential star of the 2020s will not enter the league until 2021 at the earliest. Clemson's Lawrence possess the size, skill and nerve to succeed at the next level. He is still yet to lose a game in college and is one win away from back-to-back National Championships.

Sport climbing: Janja Garnbret

Sport climbing will make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 and Garnbret is a favourite for success. She successfully defended her bouldering and combined titles at last year's world championships and added gold in the lead discipline. The Slovenian's tally of 14 International Federation of Sport Climbing titles is unprecedented.

Rugby league: Tom Flegler

Front-rower Flegler enjoyed a hugely promising breakthrough year with Brisbane Broncos in 2019, featuring 23 times in his maiden campaign. He has reportedly knocked back a host of lucrative offers to remain with Brisbane in 2020 and will now aim to make an even bigger impact.

Women's football: Georgia Stanway

Vastly experienced for her age, Stanway joined Manchester City from Blackburn Rovers and made her Women's Super League debut at 16 in 2015. She won her second FA Cup with a goalscoring player-of-the-match display as City beat West Ham 3-0 in 2019's Wembley final and was the youngest member of an England squad Phil Neville led to the World Cup semi-finals. If the Lionesses are to take the next step over the coming decade, expect Stanway to play a vital role.

Rugby union: Marcus Smith

Harlequins fly-half Smith is knocking on the door for full England selection after an impressive first two years of his club career. He was man of the match in last July's win over Barbarians, which fans of Eddie Jones' side will hope is a sign of things to come over the next decade.

Golf: Matthew Wolff

The PGA Tour welcomed a host of talented rookies in 2019, but Wolff may just be the best of the bunch. A standout college player with an unorthodox swing that generates enormous power, he won last July's 3M Open in only his third professional start.

MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo

After Jorge Lorenzo, the only man to defeat Marc Marquez in a MotoGP world championship, retired, and with Valentino Rossi nearing the end of his career, fans are looking to the next generation. That group looks set to be led by Quartararo, who will ride a factory-spec Yamaha for 2020 after claiming six pole positions and seven podiums in a magnificent rookie season.

Golf: Nasa Hataoka

Already fifth in the women's world rankings, Hataoka has claimed three LPGA Tour titles in the past 18 months, after becoming the first amateur to win a major on the Japan LPGA Tour back in 2016.

Baseball: Vladimir Guerrero Jnr

Guerrero has a lot to live up to but has already shown enough to suggest he may follow his father into baseball's Hall of Fame. Having signed for the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent in 2015, Guerrero served his time in the minors before making his debut in the Major Leagues last April. He spent the rest of his maiden season displaying the kind of power that has marked him out as a star of the future, hitting .272, mashing 15 home runs and knocking in 69 RBI. By the end of the next decade, his may well be the face of baseball.

Ice Hockey: Quinn Hughes

Hughes, who could not even debut for the Vancouver Canucks until he recovered from an ankle injury in March, is an elite defenseman who also sat top of the rookie assist chart in late December.

Swimming: Michael Andrew

This year is an Olympic one and for the first time since the 1996 Games, Michael Phelps will not be in the pool. The United States needs a new swimming hero, and the hope is that Phelps' namesake can be the next star. Andrew was the youngest US swimmer to ever turn professional when he did so at 14 and, having finished fourth in the 50 metres butterfly at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships, he appears primed to be a breakout star in Tokyo.

Tennis: Denis Shapovalov

Shapovalov finished 2019 at a career-high ATP ranking of 15th, having won his first title in Stockholm. Expect his threat at the 2020 majors to be very real.

Athletics: Sydney McLaughlin

At the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, gold in the 4x400 metres relay followed silver in the 400m hurdles for McLaughlin. Only a Dalilah Muhammad world record was enough to deny her the victory.

Boxing: Joseph Adorno

Currently plying his trade in the lightweight division, Adorno was brought up in Puerto Rico and his thunderous left hook has drawn comparisons to Miguel Cotto – the great four-weight world champion hailing from that boxing-mad island. Promoters Top Rank will look to step up Adorno's level of opposition in 2020, although anyone climbing into the corner opposite a young man boasting a 14-0 record with 12 knockouts should make sure they get well paid.

Australia have added D'Arcy Short to their ODI squad for the upcoming tour of India.

The opening batsman has been drafted in as a replacement for Sean Abbott, who is expected to miss between three and four weeks with a side strain sustained during the Sydney Sixers' Big Bash League fixture against Sydney Thunder last Friday.

National Selector Trevor Hohns said: "It is extremely unfortunate for Sean who is very much a part of our white ball squad plans leading into the ICC T20 World Cup and the World Cup.

"D'Arcy offers the squad another spinning all-rounder option along with Ashton Agar, which along with the four world-class fast bowlers and Adam Zampa balances the squad out nicely. 

"His proven record and ability to bat anywhere in the order will also be a great asset to the squad."

Short has played four ODIs for Australia, the last of which came against South Africa in November 2018.

Australia will play three ODIs in India between January 14 and 19.

West Indies legend Brian Lara has hailed India batting star Virat Kohli as the Cristiano Ronaldo of the sport based on the player’s extraordinary commitment to fitness.

Kohli was recently named in the Wisden top five cricketers of the decade and it was a well-earned accolade considering the fact he has scored 5,775 more international runs than anyone else in the last 10 years.  In fact, since bursting on the scene, the India skipper has sent records tumbling at a remarkable pace.  Kohli has, however, also become noted for his strict diet and rigid fitness routine.  Lara believes his attention to that aspect of his career development, comparable to the likes of Ronaldo and LeBron James, has taken the player to another level.

“It’s unbelievable. He's cricket’s version of Cristiano Ronaldo. I think he’s taken fitness to another level,” Lara said in a recent interview with The Hindu.

“When you see guys in the 70s and the fun that they were having, the fitness level wasn't that great.  In 2019, pretty much, fitness is a major part of the game and Kohli is leading the charge, not just in India but around the world. His mental strength is unbelievable,” he added.

The 31-year-old Indian was named captain of the Wisden Test team of the decade, while also featuring in the ODI XI.

India have included fit-again duo Jasprit Bumrah and Shikhar Dhawan in their squads for the upcoming limited-overs games against Sri Lanka and Australia.

Paceman Bumrah has not played for his country since the Test series against West Indies concluded early in September due to a stress fracture of the back.

However, the 26-year-old is set to make his return in the three-match Twenty20 series with Sri Lanka, which takes place early in January.

Bumrah – who was part of India's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup - will also be involved when Australia are the visitors for three one-dayers later in the same month.

Dhawan also returns, the opening batsman available after overcoming a leg injury. However, Hardik Pandya is absent as he continues to recover from a back problem.

Rohit Sharma, meanwhile, is rested for the Sri Lanka series, along with fast bowler Mohammed Shami.

The first T20 takes place on January 5 in Guwahati, followed by games in Indore (January 7) and Pune (January 10).

As for the series with Australia, that begins in Mumbai on January 14. Virat Kohli's side will then be in 50-over action in Rajkot three days later, followed by the finale in Bangalore on January 19.

 

India squad for T20 series against Sri Lanka: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Washington Sundar.

India squad for ODI series against Australia: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami.

Virat Kohli played a key innings as India signed off for 2019 with an ODI series triumph over West Indies - and then he rued the fact it was not a year of global conquest.

A four-wicket win in Cuttack on Sunday came on the back of 85 from captain Kohli after openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul weighed in with 63 and 77 to put the home side in control in their chase of 315-5.

Still, amid the celebrations, thoughts turned back to India's hopes of Cricket World Cup glory being shattered at the semi-final stage in England in July.

On that occasion, a wretched start in their reply to New Zealand's 239-8 at Old Trafford saw India's top three - Rahul, Sharma and Kohli - dismissed for one run each.

Kohli said: "2019 has been one of the best years for Indian cricket.

"Apart from the 30 minutes [against New Zealand] in the World Cup, it's been a great year. We'll keep chasing that ICC trophy, this group deserves it for the amount of hard work we have put in. We have a vision in place."

Speaking to reporters at a news conference following Sunday's match, Ravindra Jadeja expressed his satisfaction at getting India over the winning line to secure their 2-1 series success.

His unbeaten 39, paired with a guns-blazing unbeaten 17 from six balls by Shardul Thakur, shut the door on West Indies' hopes of clinging to victory.

Jadeja said: "It was a decider game today so when I went to bat I was just looking to play with Virat because the wicket was so good to bat on.

"Me and Virat were talking in the middle out there, about how the wicket was so good.

"He told me, 'Just continue trying to keep playing your shots, I'll try and finish the game', but unfortunately he got out and he told me to keep playing just normal cricket, don't try and do something silly."

The pep talk paid off as Jadeja received post-match praise from former captain Sourav Ganguly, who tweeted to say the 31-year-old's upturn in batting form was "so important" to India.

"I need to prove to myself I'm still capable of playing limited-overs cricket," Jadeja said. "So I don't need to prove to anybody else in the world, I need to prove to myself."

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is taking a positive outlook on his team’s four-wicket loss to India in Cuttack on Sunday.

Virat Kohli made a 55th ODI half-century following fireworks from Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard as India pulled off a big run chase to beat West Indies by four wickets and win the series 2-1.

Pooran (89 from 64 balls) and Pollard (74 not out off 51) bludgeoned 118 runs off the last 10 overs to get the Windies up to an imposing 315-5 at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Sunday.

That was not sufficient for the tourists to secure a first bilateral ODI series win over India for 13 years, though, as the second-ranked side in the world reached their target in the penultimate over.

Rohit Sharma hit a run-a-ball 63, while KL Rahul (77) and Kohli (85) also made half-centuries before Ravindra Jadeja (39no) and Shardul Thakur (17no) finished off the job. 

Keemo Paul was the pick of the bowlers with 3-59 and Shai Hope became the second-fastest to 3000 ODI runs, but that was scant consolation for Pollard's men.

The Windies got off to steady start after being put in by Kohli and Evin Lewis fell for a scratchy 21 before Hope was bowled playing across the line to a delivery from Mohammed Shami.

Shimron Hetmyer (37) struck a couple of lusty sixes but became Navdeep Saini's first ODI victim after he was put down by Rishabh Pant and Roston Chase (38) lost his off stump to a yorker from the debutant.

Pooran, also dropped by Pant, and Pollard cut loose with a devastating late onslaught, the former reaching his half-century with a second six in an expensive over from Kuldeep Yadav.

The majestic Pooran missed out on his hundred when he was removed by Shardul in the 48th over, but Pollard swelled his tally of sixes to seven to leave India facing a big run chase.

Rohit and Rahul - centurions in the second ODI - made a great start, the former stepping on the accelerator with a six and four in the fourth over from Jason Holder as the openers scored at around a run a ball for the first 15 overs.

Rahul was the first to reach his half-century after the 100 stand was brought up and Rohit moved to his 43rd ODI fifty, but was gone after edging Holder behind.

The elegant Rahul gloved Alzarri Joseph to Hope and India were 201-4 with 15 overs to bowl after Paul removed Shreyas Iyer and Pant in successive overs.

Kohli coasted to his half-century from only 51 with an array of sublime strokes and positive running, with India needing 79 for victory off the last 10 overs, but there was stunned silence when he chopped on attempting to drive Paul through the off side.

India required 30 from 23 balls when Kohli trudged off, but Shardul hooked Sheldon Cottrell for six in a 48th over that cost 15 runs and Jadeja showed his all-round class as India got home with eight balls to spare.

Evin Lewis, Shai Hope and Carlos Brathwaite were among seven West Indies players who went unsold during the 2020 IPL Auction in Kolkata, India on Thursday.

West Indies players Sheldon Cottrell and Shimron Hetmyer were both sold for over US$1million at the 2020 IPL draft in India on Thursday.

Navdeep Saini could make his ODI debut in the series decider against West Indies on Sunday after being called up to replace the injured Deepak Chahar.

Chahar was troubled by pain in his back following India's emphatic series-levelling hammering of the Windies in Vizag on Wednesday.

The paceman has been ruled out of the third and final match in Cuttack after being examined by the BCCI medical team.

Saini, who has played in five Twenty20 Internationals, comes into contention as India looked to complete a turnaround and seal a 2-1 win.

 

India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Shivam Dube, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini.

 

Rohit Sharma smashed his seventh one-day international century of 2019 before Kuldeep Yadav took a hat-trick as India levelled their series against West Indies with a 107-run victory.

An opening partnership worth 227 between Rohit (159) and KL Rahul (102) laid the platform for the home side to post 387-5, with Shreyas Iyer (53) and Rishabh Pant (39) providing late fireworks after captain Virat Kohli fell for a golden duck.

Some brutal hitting from Shai Hope (78) and Nicholas Pooran (75) gave the Windies belief, yet Mohammed Shami (3-39) struck in back-to-back deliveries as visiting skipper Kieron Pollard was also dismissed first ball.

Kuldeep (3-52) then became the first Indian to claim two ODI hat-tricks as Kohli's side bowled West Indies out for 280 to wrap up the win with 6.3 overs to spare, setting up a decider in the third and final ODI on Sunday.

Rohit, the leading run-scorer in ODIs this year, was dropped on 70 by Shimron Hetmyer in the 28th over and he went on to beat his partner Rahul to three figures.

It was Rohit's seventh ODI century in 2019 and his 10th across all formats; only Sachin Tendulkar with nine centuries in 1998 has accrued more three-figure scores in the 50-over game across a calendar year.

Rahul soon joined him in bringing up that milestone but he fell later that over when he picked out third man, and India lost wickets in successive overs as Kohli offered Roston Chase a simple catch at short midwicket off Pollard.

Rohit became the first Indian to score 150 in an ODI this year with a fifth maximum of his innings and, after he nicked Sheldon Cottrell behind, Iyer and Pant hit the accelerator, the pair scoring 55 across the 46th and 47th overs to leave the tourists chasing a huge total.

Opener Hope was dropped at slip by Rahul from his first ball faced but India picked up three wickets in quick succession to go from 61 without loss to 86-3.

Hetmyer fell to some fantastic fielding from Iyer, who dove to save a boundary before recovering and delivering a pinpoint throw to the non-striker's end, though Hope and Pooran soon took the field out of the equation with some huge hitting.

In among his six maximums, Pooran was dropped, yet his 106-run stand with Hope was eventually ended when he top-edged down to Kuldeep.

Pollard was removed from the very next ball – the first time in ODIs both captains had been dismissed for golden ducks – and while Shami could not get a hat-trick, Kuldeep did.

Hope was the first of that trio to go, Kohli leaping up and balancing on one leg by the rope to take the catch, with Jason Holder stumped and Alzarri Joseph edging to second slip.

Shami, now the leading wicket-taker in ODIs this year, took his 41st wicket of 2019 by bowling Keemo Paul (46) to seal the win.

Virat Kohli has become accustomed to achieving what has never been done before at the crease but the India captain will want to forget his latest record in a hurry.

History was made in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday, when both captains were out for a golden duck for the first time in an ODI.

Kohli was dismissed first ball by Windies skipper Kieron Pollard before India went on to pile on 387-5 in the second match of the series, openers Rohit Sharma (159) and KL Rahul (102) blasting centuries.

Pollard was then given a taste of his own medicine, the all-rounder caught behind off Mohammed Shami in a brief visit to the middle as India closed in one an emphatic series-levelling victory.

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