A few days ago, news emerged that four-day Tests could become mandatory from the 2023 World Test Championship with boards finding ways to squeeze in less Test cricket days in the calendar while bringing back drawn Test matches, a rather rare phenomenon now.  

There is more demand than ever for franchise tournament windows for the ICC while the Indian T20 League occupies another large chunk of the calendar. The costs involved in staging Test series is another factor that's involved in this decision.

It has evoked mixed reactions from players so far with Joe Root and Jos Buttler stating that boards should be "open-minded". Vernon Philander and Nathan Lyon have completely gone against the idea but the big call came from Virat Kohli on Saturday when he declared he wasn't a fan of four-day Tests.

"I don't think that's fair to the purest format of the game - how cricket started initially and five-day Test matches was the highest of tests you can have at the international level. According to me, it shouldn't be altered," Kohli said.

Now, Kohli's opinion is more important than the rest because BCCI is likely to be in sync with the same and the board contributes to a lot of ICC's revenue. As such going against BCCI would be a hard, arduous task for ICC if they plan to implement four-day Tests as a mandate starting 2023.

The pro

The obvious pro for four-day Tests is money. Yes, there's an additional loss of a day but it only frees up the calendar for more limited-overs games where boards make most of their money. The second boon is bringing drawn Tests back into the equation. Draws without poor weather is rare these days and with Tests cut by a day, there could be more exciting results with a third result - other than a win and a loss - coming into play.

The cons

The cons, though, outweigh the pros. The over-rates are pretty poor in Test cricket of late and unless that is addressed on a more stringent basis, we may not actually get enough overs in there to force a result within four days, thereby making Test cricket boring again.

Even with the penalty imposed on teams for over-rates in the World Test Championship, there is unlikely to be an improvement in over-rates seeing how it goes now. 100 overs a day in a Test match seems nigh impossible at the moment.

The weather could be a big deciding factor if we do go to four-day Tests as one washed out day means we have just three remaining days to force a result. Even intermittent showers could threaten the possibility of a result and bring draws into the picture in matches where results are quite plausible.

With two big decisive factors going against four-day Tests, the idea seems largely off target and going down that path is only likely to create more questions regarding the existence of Test cricket.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Noah Seelam