What Is The Future Of Test Cricket

With the rise of Franchise and T-20 Crickets and new babies of T-10 or Hundred balls of Competition, Test Cricket could be in for a dark heavy future.

The longest format of the game defines the real explanation of how our life spans out. Getting up every morning, you can’t find yourself in the same frame of mind in life. But that’s when you need to settle yourself, plan for the next few weeks and understand how to progress. The same occurs with Test Cricket, where you need to play sessions, you see little set-ups, the only difference is you don’t get few weeks to set up goals.

Similarities of Test Cricket & Life:

“Test Cricket is the ultimate.”  You may find people saying that 20-over format is the real mirror image of what life is right now which is totally its wrong version. Human beings who want everything in life instantly are not living and the person who has seen the best part of test, Michael Holding, catalyzes the reason behind the thought, “Test Cricket is not entertaining as it used to be.”  

The intention of shorter format has changed the mindset of both the batsman and the bowler. For the former, they mostly arrived on the 22-yard which is already flat and paradise with a heavy bat aiming to hit the bowlers from ball number one. If they execute their plan A of smashing, they lack plan B and die. Everyone is not Rahul Tewatia.

For those with a ball in hand, they try to take wickets in each and every single delivery and Natarajan’s bowling Yorkers in the first morning of a test match in Gabba is the juicy prove of that. Yes, the version of the ball is the perfect one with no one still knows the answer of a perfect yorker in the 144yrs of the game but in the red ball game, it hardly has a chance to take wicket always, not in the first morning of a test for sure.

Test Cricket introduces moments of dramas or long periods of boring fight between bat & ball. Little bit of friendly banters where the bowler comes a bit harder at the batsman with an increase in his pace. In this form, the best team will emerge as the winner 99% of the time but honestly, the greatest result is not result at all: a draw and Sydney at the end of last year or this year’s Dhaka or Mirpur test has demonstrated it again. The word “Underdog” has earned a new life.

Why People Should Follow Test Cricket:

Great test matches are the part and parcel of the longer format of the game: The tied test at the Gabba in 1960, the Madras test in 1986, Edgbaston test in 2005, the Headingly heroic in 2017 or the Gabba breach in 2021.

Do you know won the Big Bash or the IPL or the BPL or any other league this year or even last year? No? who cares? Spectators coming to enjoy test Cricket on the ground, mostly in England, carries every single knowledge about the player’s game, their experience or technique etc. which never occurs in T-20 Cricket.

Of late, players are playing so many short form of cricket mostly for the franchise  and you understand because of a heavy life changing amount that they are being offered and Shakib or Mustafizur ( although he has said that he would wait and see) or some of English players opting out of test matches because of the IPL or when the past had seen Sunil Narine being left of the national team because of avoiding the national duty is adding an extra page in the book. Playing too many games for the all-format players could lead them up to so many injuries; the fast bowlers can’t bowl their level best unlike the old days because they lack enough rest to build up their body.

But you always have a flip side of the coin. One thing that the new generation of games has done that Cricketers have become so much fitter these days, you observe great athletics and acrobatics on the field whereas the franchise cricket has helped the players to cope with pressure in front of a packed crowd. The two innings of Ben Stokes, one in Headingly and Lord’s (WC final) or Pant’s blustering the Aussies are because of their experience in IPL. Diversity is another main factor presented by the league.

The Future of Test Cricket:

But is the future of test Cricket being under a bit of threat with the inclusion of dozen formats in the game? Are we missing those little gestures where if a young lad leaves a ball outside off, everyone will stand up and clap from the balcony? Well, English former captain and an excellent commentator, Naseer Hussain, has shown zero fear in a Cricbuzz interview with Harsha Bhogle“I don’t think so. I think the world is overplaying the death of test Cricket.”

He also went on to throw some advices about engaging the people in the stadium and he was spot on; you do find people hanging with the Television or Internet to know the score when there is a game in India. So, there is the love but there is no wish of spending your hard cash behind that. “Pitches and viewers experience need to be taken care of for test Cricket to hold the fort.” The stadiums should be of wi-fi where kids can do whatever they want or the voice of umpires that we hear in our drawing room should reach to the ears of the spectators too.

So, it’s high time we take of test Cricket because it’s the dream of every youngster to play red ball for his country. The respect that Cheteshwar Pujara or Rahul Dravid carry can’t be matched by amount. All the Cricket board should sit back and make a close look at the future of best format the game has ever produced.

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