The 2005 Ashes series breathed fresh life into Test cricketWith the rising popularity of T20 cricket, the time has come more than ever to think seriously about the fate of Test matches. Most well discerning cricket fans still like to believe that Test cricket is the purest and truest form of the game which must be preserved at all costs.The allegation that Test cricket is uninteresting can be easily dismissed as over the years the cricketing world has witnessed some extraordinary Test matches which have kept spectators hooked to the edge of their seats. The 2005 Ashes, for instance, was one of the best Test series in recent times.But Test cricket can be boring at times. Even the most puritanical cricket fan can be forgiven for saying that there have been the odd occasion when the five days of aimless batting has elicited a yawn or two from him.Let us look at 5 most boring Test matches of all time:
#5 India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test (Ahmedabad, 2009)
The 1st Test at Ahmedabad during Sri Lanka's tour of India in 2009 turned out to be a boring affair thanks to the lifeless pitch on offer. India scored a convincing 426 in their first innings with centuries from Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni.
Sri Lanka responded with an awe-inspiring 760 for 7 with centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Prasanna Jayawardene and a commanding 275 from Mahela Jayawardene. India's response was just as defiant; an imposing 412 for 4 with centuries from Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar.
1598 runs were scored from 436.4 overs, but only 21 wickets fell over the course of the five days making it one of the most boring drawn Test matches ever.
#4 India vs New Zealand, 3rd Test (Delhi, 1955)
One of the most boring Test matches to have been ever played was the 3rd Test between India and New Zealand played at the Ferozeshah Kotla from 16th to 21st December in 1955. New Zealand scored 450 for the loss of 2 wickets with Bert Sutcliffe scoring a majestic 230.
In reply, India declared with 531 for 7 from 241.5 overs. Almost everyone chipped in for India with the bat with Vijay Manjrekar being the standout batsman scoring a brilliant 177. New Zealand were 112 for 1 in their second innings when the match came to an end. With wickets hard to come by for the bowlers and batsmen scoring at a very low run rate throughout, this match offered very little entertainment for the spectators.
#3 Pakistan vs India, 1st Test (Lahore, 2006)
One of the worst advertisements of Test cricket are instances when the first innings of two teams cannot even be completed after a span of five days. That is exactly what happened when India played Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore in 2006.
Pakistan declared their first innings with a mammoth 679 for 7 on the board with centuries from Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal. In response, India batted for well over three days and were 410 for the loss of one wicket when the match ended. Dravid scored a century while Sehwag was in an unstoppable mood powering his way to a sublime 254.
The Gaddafi Stadium offered an absolute dead rubber with no assistance for the bowlers which made the match one of the most uninteresting ones in the history of Test cricket. When allegations were brought against the Pakistani team for supposedly having asked for a flat deck, the skipper Inzamam-ul-Haque had famously said," I am a captain, not a groundsman."
#2 Sri Lanka vs India, 1st Test (Colombo, 1997)
When Tendulkar won the toss and decided to bat on a flat R Premadasa track in August 1997, little did he know about the nightmare that was in store for him over the next five days. India declared their first innings with an imposing total of 537 for 8 on the board with centuries from Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Azharuddin.
When debutant Nilesh Kulkarni dismissed Marvan Atapattu off his first ball in Test cricket, the Indians were off to a dream start with the ball. But there was little joy for them after that as Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama batted for two full days and ended with a record partnership of 576 runs for the second wicket.
Jayasuriya and Mahanama ended with individual scores of 340 and 225 respectively. Sri Lanka declared for a record total of 952 for 6 as the Indian spinner Rajesh Chauhan finished with figures of 78-8-276-1 which was the second-most expensive in Test cricket. All of this might have been good for the record books, but it was a very poor exhibition for Test cricket.
#1 South Africa vs England, 5th Test (Durban, 1939)
The most boring Test match to have been ever played has got to be the timeless Test between South Africa and England played in March 1939. The Test match went on for ten days from the 3rd to the 14th of March and still could not yield a result.
South Africa scored 530 off 202 overs in the first innings and England followed it up with 316 for 2 off 117 overs. South Africa then scored 481 in their second innings leaving England 696 runs to win. England were 654 for 5 in their second innings when the match was declared to be drawn as England would have otherwise missed the boat to take them back home.
A record 5,463 deliveries were bowled and each side scored over 900 runs in that match. This was also the longest first-class match to have been ever played in the history of cricket.