An open letter to T20 fanatics
Dear T20 lovers,
Test Cricket is beauteous. Shame on those breed of men that yawn at the idea of a 5-day sport. Shame on the breed of men who attach with it any word synonymous with ‘boring.’ Shame on all those who value a hit-it-out contest over the ebbs and flows.
Shame on you.
So what do you prefer? A game where the bat is like some godfather, thrashing the white-ball. It's the sort of battering that handicapped oldies get from later stages of life. They say there is no point to live if you can't wipe your own bum, well what's the point of the ball existing if it can't do the talking.
Let's make it even better, says the ECB. Let’s just have 100 balls and 10 balls an over too; let the bowler have a tired hand by the time he drags himself for the 12th delivery. Shorten the boundaries too. Have those advertising boards even closer to the boundaries, so the fielders can’t dive and save those boundaries. Let the bowlers score centuries on runs conceded. Have an anti-grass campaign and roll the pitch down. She shouldn't have a blade of grass on it. 400. 480. 500. 550. 600. Let's scuff up the statistics too. Actually, you know what, let’s just replace the bowlers with bowling machines instead. That’s it!
Where are you heading?
What is a game where the bowler is a mere spectator? It would be worth Youtubing some videos of Wasim Akram or Imran Khan banana-curving the red ball and rattling the stumps. If you prefer HD quality, have a look at Mitchell Johnson's fiery 2014 spell. For once, see the batsman under the shadows of the bowler. For once, see the real contest.
The current England vs India series is the epitome of Test Cricket. A game where both parties need to put in a constant effort, need to constantly grind through tough phases and last till the better parts. No party is steamrolling through the other, which leaves the scope for close, enthralling finishes.
So dear T20 lovers who don’t give a toffee about Test cricket, I challenge you. Sit in front of your television for the entire duration of the 7 hours. Don’t miss the match analysis and don’t miss the interviews. In fact, don’t miss a second. Bring the food and the family and forget about everything. Soon, you will see its beauty. Its charism, its desirability. Its little mind games, its sub-plot battles.
Soon, you will fall in love.