Cricket's shorter versions may be zooming up the popularity charts but Team India pacer Ishant Sharma says, for a player nothing can beat the thrill of competing in Tests.
"Test cricket is the top format of the game. It is the format which makes a cricketer. The honour that one gets while performing in Test cricket is unmatched," Ishant said on the sidelines of launching the Ten-10 gully cricket tournament starting next year.
But the teenage pace sensation is all for innovations in the game -- the latest being a 10-overs-a-side gully cricket tournament for which he has been appointed brand ambassador.
"The bounce that I generate is something I learnt while playing gully cricket and that's why I am happy that such innovations are happening. For those who don't get too many opportunities, this will be great," he said.
The pacer dismissed suggestions that shorter formats will ultimately kill the game.
"You can't say that," he retorted when asked whether the matches may just end up being decided by a toss of coin considering the rate at which the overs are being reduced.
"Tomorrow you will say put a bowling machine for the batsmen," he added.
Former Team India manager Lalchand Rajput, who is the tournament director of the T10 tournament, agreed and said, "Those who play Test cricket will never play T10. It's a format from which you can graduate towards higher things."
But Ishant admitted that shorter formats do translate into bigger challenges for the bowlers.
"It has never been easy for bowlers. But it's a challenge and one should be prepared. Cricket in itself is not an easy sport," he said.