Paine’s perfect rebuttal in four-day Tests debate
TIM Paine has dismissed a suggestion by Cricket Australia boss Kevin Roberts that it was time to "seriously think about" four-day Test matches.
The Australian captain pointed to the most recent Ashes series as a prime example of why Tests should go five days.
Australia won the opening Test at Edgbaston midway through day five, and the rain-affected drawn second Test at Lord's ended only when bad light stopped play after 7pm on the fifth day.
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The best Australian result, victory at Manchester which ensured Paine's men retained the Ashes, was achieved in the 90th over of England's second innings, after the match went in to its final half-hour.
"We might not have got a result in the Ashes had we of done that," Paine said.
"I think that's the point of difference with Test cricket.
"It's five days, it's harder mentally, it's harder physically and it tests players more than the four-day first-class fixtures do.
"I think that's what it's designed to do. I hope it stays that way."
For some time Roberts has declared his belief that four-day Tests were the way forward for the longest form of the game.
The CA chief executive said during the Boxing Day Test the change would be explored when the fixtures for years 2023-2031 were mapped out.
"It's very important that we ask ourselves the right questions in world cricket," Roberts said.
"You've got to look really seriously at the future of four-day Test cricket."
England and Ireland played in an officially sanctioned four-day Test at Lord's earlier this year, won by the home team.
Last December, South Africa thrashed Zimbabwe inside two days in the inaugural four-day Test with daily over limits increased from 90 to 98, for the best chance of a result.
In 54 Tests played over the past decade, 40 have seen results achieved inside 392 overs, which would be the maximum for a four-day Test.
That includes Australia's win at the MCG, and South Africa's Boxing Day Test win over England in Johannesburg.