Sachin Tendulkar: India legend says Test cricket is 'main course'

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Tendulkar on future of Test cricket

Former India captain Sachin Tendulkar believes Test cricket remains the "main course", despite the growing popularity of shorter forms of the game.

Test crowds have declined in recent years in India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and even Australia.

In contrast, fans have flocked to the one-day and Twenty20 formats.

"Test cricket is like a main course, and always will be - the other versions are like starters and desserts," Tendulkar, 41, told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Out of 10 cricketers, if you asked, I wouldn't be surprised if eight say that Test cricket is the top, then comes the rest."

Tendulkar, who retired from cricket last year, is the top run-scorer in Test history with 15,921 runs.

All-time leading run-scorers in Tests
1. Sachin Tendulkar (India, 1989-2013) 15,921 runs, average 53.78
2. Ricky Ponting (Australia, 1995-2012) 13,378 at 51.85
3. Jacques Kallis (South Africa, 1995-2013) 13,289 at 55.37
4. Rahul Dravid (India, 1996-2012) 13,288 at 52.31
5. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka, 2000-date) 11,988 at 58.76
Statistics correct as of 10 November 2014

The success of T20 competitions such as the Indian Premier League and Australia's Big Bash has shifted the financial balance of power away from Test cricket.

Former England captain Andrew Strauss recently wrote in his autobiography: "I have to admit that I become more and more concerned about the plight of Test cricket every year.

"Watching a Test match in an empty stadium with no more than a handful of spectators in attendance sends out warning signals."

Hear more in an in-depth interview with Sachin Tendulkar on BBC Radio 5 live Sport on Monday from 21:00 GMT.

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