- Cricket pundits around the world, including retired cricketers with phenomenal records against their names, would vouch vociferously that Test cricket is the ultimate form of the game. Any cricketer worth his/her salt would not mind mentioning that it’s the Test cricket statistics that ultimately matter. Many centuries scored or wickets snared against different opposition and playing in diverse conditions in the Tests always defines the true worth of any cricketer. The skills set tested in a Test match vis-à-vis an interesting battle between the bat and the ball over five days not only makes for compelling watching but also separates the extraordinary cricketers from the ordinary. Not for nothing it is mentioned that Test cricket is the ultimate format.
- Make no mistake, the short and the shortest formats of cricket viz. the 50-over and the 20-over format have gained immense popularity among the current generation. Agreed, the much-needed revenue for the cricket boards is generated by the huge popularity of the shortest version wherein the sponsors pump in massive amounts of money in line with the demand. Many cricket boards can stay afloat thanks to the popularity of the shortest version of the game raking in huge moolah. No wonder, several T20 leagues have mushroomed over the years which are not only lucrative but also have captured the imagination of the true patrons of the game big-time. However, Test cricket continues to captivate with its inherently skillful competitiveness time and again.
- As you are aware, India-England and Australia-West Indies recently faced off against each other in a Test match played in India and Australia, respectively. The first Test match between India and England was recently concluded in Hyderabad. What a Test match it turned out to be! Mind you, Team England is known for playing an attacking brand of cricket whatever the situation and circumstances placing the opposition team under pressure. The Bazball has created enough buzz among the cricketing-playing nations for its attacking intent. Keeping with the trend, the first Test in Hyderabad showcased how Team England plays the game even though Team India in home conditions is always a monumental challenge to climb.
- Not many visiting teams have succeeded in placing the home team under pressure. That England succeeded in not only besting the home team but also negating the favorable conditions on offer amply demonstrates how focused the visitors are vis-à-vis their brand of attacking cricket. Kudos to England for winning the first Test by humbling the Indian team speaks volumes about the visiting team. Likewise, West Indies humbling Team Australia in Brisbane Gabba in the second Test is simply amazing for the game itself. We know how West Indies is struggling in international cricket, but this win should propel them to something positive back home attracting more talent to embrace the game. Test cricket is thriving, and this should warm the cockles of the connoisseurs.