5 reasons why Test cricket is best cricket

Maycricketcontinue to flourish and spread its wings. The world can only be richer for it.-Sir DonBradmanYes.Cricket as a game has flourishedand evolved more than any other sport in the world. Test cricket has always been there.Then came the era of coloured jerseys,white balls and One Day Internationals. And today Twenty20s are making giant strides in all directions.Test cricket, spelled for doom long back, has managed to survive all these innovations and, I must admit, looks good for a long haul. Here, we take a look at five reasons why Test cricketisthe best form of cricket.


#1 A test of character and lot more

“Cricket remains for me the game of games, the sanspareil, the great metaphor, the best marriage ever devised of mind and body For meit remains the Proust of pastimes, the subtlest and most poetic, the most past-and-present; whose beauty can lie equally in days, in a whole, or in one tiny phrase, a blinding split second.” -John Robert Fowler

It puts the players through a toiling battle, tests their mettle, talent and fighting spirit to the very extreme. There is no easy way out. Players have to fight it out with every ounce of what they have till the sun sets. The longer format tests a player’s grit, attitude, and level of preparedness for the highest level.

#2 Just cricket...nothing else!


“Starting to the question whether I am a cricketer or a model out here at the IPL” - Dale Steyn comments on spending more time at photoshoots than on the field during IPL.

With the arrival of T20 cricket, and the IPL in particular, cricket is losing what it is actually intended to provide and becoming more of an entertainment value. It sure fills the pockets of the boards like never before.

Despite all the glamour, hype, and packaging of the T20 games, the bottom line is its short duration and fluctuating tempo can never make for a substantial viewing pleasure.


The ODIs came first, T20s rule the roost today and who knows what is on cards tomorrow? I wouldn’t rule a ‘Fast-five’ out. But it is important to keep in mind that fashion wears out as history has taught us.

None of them could ever reciprocate the essence of cricket like the five-day marathon can.

#3 A game of sessions


A Test match is often said to be won in sessions.

Like a long drawn war, which goes on for days, both the parties toil to win sessions. If a team fails in one session, it can fight back in the next one. The equilibrium of the match can shift from one side to other anytime.

You are never out of the game in a Test match. Even if the chances of winning a match are quite literally zero, you can prevent the opposition from doing it by battling for a draw. There is always hope in the longer format.

Alec Stewart puts it the best:”Test matches are tactical battles that develop over a period of time and then suddenly accelerate out of nowhere. When this happens it provides a spectacle that can have you on the edge of your seat for hours.”

#4 Unique nature

“There is a widely held and quite erroneously held belief that cricket is just another game.” - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh , In Wisden Cricketers' Almanack,'The Pleasures of Cricket'


If a person who has never followed the game of cricket watches a T20 game, he may find an analogy with a baseball match in terms of looks, with a hockey or a soccer match in terms of fast-paced action and colourful jerseys.

If the same guy goes to watch a Test match, he is sure to be left amused on seeing 22 players in the whites toiling long and hard for the entire duration of 5 days.

#5 Role of pitch and the red ball

“No cricketer is so dependent on the turf on which the game is played as the spinner; it can make, break, enfang or defang him.” - Gideon Haigh

Pitch plays a vital role in Test matches. Its texture is decisive in shaping up the results.

The morning session of a Test match more often than not belongs to the pacers. As the clock ticks on, the pitch changes its nature, breaking and cracking up. A day 4/ day 5 pitch brings spinners into play, while a batsman would relish batting on a day2/day 3 pitch where there wouldn’t be much in it for the bowlers.


This is precisely why technically limited cricketers find it difficult to succeed in this format of the game. You need to have all-round skills to outlast all the tricks that the pitches throw at you.

The red ball also plays a crucial role. It is a lot different from its white counterpart, swinging and spinning a lot more. It is like the red cherry on the cake that is Test cricket..

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