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Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Dear (s)

With the advent of T20, the crowds are getting thinner – dull and insipid finishes are driving away the enthusiasts.  Some times there are not draws but stalemates.  The first test between Lankans and Indians was such a high scoring drab. Every day some innovation is thought of to keep spectators glued on.  The latest news is that Test cricket is contemplated to be played in Night, after successful trials with white leather ball of a revolutionary new finish allowing it to keep its sheen and colour.  Again for the uninitiated, Test matches are played with red cherry balls which become old and get changed in 90 overs.  In Day night One dayers, white ball with black sightscreen is used. 

This ball could change the way cricket has been played in the day for 130 odd years.  Some time back experiments were made with pink balls.  The maintenance of sheen is required as balls tend to scuff prematurely, especially on rough pitches and after some hard hitting, it becomes difficult for the batsmen, fielders, Umpires and spectators to spot it.  England has scheduled a day-night Test against Bangladesh in 2010 hoping by then for a ball of sufficient quality to be developed which would last 80 overs or more.

There is busy international calendar with matches between India – Srilanka, Aussie – WI,  Kiwi – Pak and Bangla – Zimbabwe just over.  Last week there were two innings victories which smack that the Tests were lop sided. 

 The one down under was palpably one sided raising uncomfortable questions about the future of the island group team, though Adrian Barath has many more years left in him.  The team getting dismissed for 228 & 187 does not augur well for a team which used to thump every other team fiercely.  In 1980s WI would floor Aussies with ease with their pace battery and swamped all other teams.  In India in the first test, Lankans amassed 760 for 7 raising questions on the ability of Indian bowlers to take 20 wickets.    The victory at Kanpur  by an innings and 144 runs was a boon – as India first scored 642 and then closed lankans with 229 & 269.

But one exact advertisements of Test cricket occurred at kiwi land. 

At University Oval, Dunedin (Test no. 1934) was played a match with referrals in place. There were no declarations, tough batting in second and a close finish.  The balance between bat and ball kept changing and Kiwis earned their victory through their Captain who is fast becoming their best bowler, best captain and best batsman as well.  There was exhibition of sheer pace, wily craft, swing and reverse swing with Shane Bond, Asif, Mohd Aamer, Chris Martin, Umar Gul and Ian O Brien all joining the party.  The match was open till the last session and there was a possibility of a draw as well.  Bond back from ICL days bowled his heart out hurling at 150 kmph.   Weather tried playing spoil sport and had its share of rain, bad light but still match was alive.  

Though crowds throng shorter versions, for a purist Test is the arena where skills would get checked really.  The Pak Kiwi match is a firm statement that Tests are superior to any other format but such tests do not come too often and perhaps that is the mystery which sustains interest in cricket

From an avid Cricket fan  -  S Sampathkumar.


  1. Good maps dear, showing where matches were actually played - Narayanan

  2. May be a cap on overs played in first innings and something on second also like the one tried out in Ranji sometime back would generate more interest - Ramji