Global Test batting skills being `eroded` by `lucrative` T20 tournaments, says Gooch

Sydney: England batting coach Graham Gooch has said that the skills of Test match batting are being eroded by Twenty20 and one-day cricket following Australia`s dismal batting show at the Lord`s Ashes Test.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia`s poor concentration and terrible shot selection at the crease has been blamed largely on the influence of T20 cricket.

Although the former England captain has admitted that he had enjoyed watching Australia`s first innings collapse in the second Test, however, he added that the cricketing purist within him was distressed seeing indisputable evidence that Test cricket, especially its batting, is under threat.

Stating that the Test batting skills worldwide are being chipped away at the edges by the amount of one-day cricket and T20 cricket, Gooch further said that financial rewards offered by T20 competitions around the world have adversely affected the standard of Test batting.

According to Gooch, a good cricketer is comprised of a package including a proper attitude, mental toughness, discipline, concentration along with good technical skills, adding that to score Test hundreds, a player needed to have a vast concentration, unlike in shorter formats, where anyone can concentrate for 15-20 minutes.

Gooch also said that for a traditionalist like him views Test cricket as the pinnacle and the benchmark in the game, although the report said that under his tutelage, England batsmen have appeared to retain the skill of batting for long periods, following big hundreds delivered by England batsmen Ian Bell and Joe Root in this Ashes series.

However, Gooch admitted that it was becoming a growing battle to keep batsmen`s minds on the job, saying that a coach needed to work hard to keep his players on track and try to educate them as well as he can on the technical and the mental skills required to bat long.

Stating that he would hate to see traditional skills get eroded and diluted, Gooch also said that time will tell whether England is superior to Australia and other nations, adding that the issue will still be alive and kicking long after he has gone from the game.

But England captain Alastair Cook said that Gooch played a significant role in keeping batsmen focused on Test cricket as their main priority.