TEST CRICKET IS NOT GOING TO DIE
In recent months, cricket pundits and news channels alike are busy arguing over the demise of test cricket.The voices have gone stronger with the ‘success’ and the popularity of ‘chaddi cricket’(T20).I do not regard myself as a cricket pundit nor I am affiliated to any news channel.First and foremost, I am a fan of real cricket-tests, one-dayers, chaddi cricket and even that which is played by people like me on the
streets and on grounds which would put even the Kotla ground to shade.
The West Indies were beaten by the Aussies but few can forget the kind of effort put in by the men in the maroon caps. The innings from Chris Gayle at Perth who once (in)famously declared his greater liking for the shorter forms of the game, is something that will always linger in my mind.Adrian Barath played an innings on his debut that far greater cricketers would only dream of. The bowlers from the Caribbean at times bowled with genuine pace and hostility that was once thought to be a thing of the days gone by.The home team had to dig deep to secure the series.
The Aussies won the series on home soil against Pakistan. The test at the SCG could have gone the visitor’s way.The bowling of Mohammad Asif in the first innings showed everyone that tests can be beautiful.
The visiting English just managed to secure a draw in the first test and won the second test.The third test ended with the fans of the visiting team in an extremely upbeat mood. The English team did not win the test but just managed to draw. When everyone predicted a draw towards the middle of the last day, the home team bowlers took a few wickets that made things very interesting.With only one match to be played, the visitors cannot lose the series.They might go home the winners!
The ups and downs associated with these matches can never be replicated in the shorter forms of the game. In matches on the subcontinent under the lights, the toss becomes crucial. The side batting first puts up a big total and in most cases emerges victorious.It is on the rare occasions that the side batting second makes a chase successful. With wickets becoming flatter everywhere, there is a particular trend that even the novel concept like powerplays cannot reverse. The side batting first has a distinct advantage.
Things are more predictable when it comes to the shortest form of the game-T20.The toss is the key and no matter what commentators say and cheerleaders do, the results mostly go with the right call when the coin is spun.
I might have rubbed the likes of Lalit Modi the wrong way, but I stand firm in my bias towards test cricket.