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Monday, July 25, 2011

Three Slips and a Gully

Three slips and a gully , a silly mid on and a forward short leg ; that is test match for you. I am writing this when the Ist test at Lords between England and India is nicely poised on the start of the Final day. Not evenly poised,but yet interesting; the question is can India save the test . The beauty of test cricket is that you can thoroughly enjoy a game even if it doesn’t produce a result. After all, it is only fair that a well contested match ends with equal honours shared by both contestants.

In ODI and 20-20, it is all a question of chances (that is why the cliche ‘on its day any team can beat any other team’). The bowler bowls from wicket to wicket, somehow hoping that the ball crosses the stumps without contacting the bat. The batsman shuffles all over the crease and takes a mighty swing hoping that he somehow  makes  contact with the ball and then he hopes that he is neither caught nor run out. The crowd keeps baying for fours and sixes or wickets as the case may be.

What is cricket if a bowler is not keen to take wickets and a batsman is not keen to keep his wicket ?

In a test match the bowler just attacks. He is prepared to go for runs as long he has the last laugh and a batsman is prepared to bide his time and wait for the bad ball to score. Nothing is left to chance.

It is sad to see the lone slip in the shorter versions of the game. How nice to see the slip cordon for fast bowler or the close in fielders for a spinner.

The crowd at test cricket is small but well informed. I recall the lines from “The Hindu” (Vijay Lokpally, I think)," A typical Chennai spectator has curd rice in his tiffin box and Wisden on his finger tips and is ever prepared to appreciate a good ball or a good hit irrespective of whether it produced any runs or wickets."

Viva Test Cricket !

As always the better format has less takers, in any part of the world, in any field; like books Vs movies, classical music Vs popular music, filter coffee Vs instant coffee, and finally Linux Vs Windows . Thathastu. So be it .


Sh... said...

Good one, enjoyed reading.

colmurali said...

:( India lost

Anu said...

Its true the better format has less takers but the minute it has more takers it will mutate into the worse format:-)

Pity India lost.

colmurali said...

Anu, I agree.