With the rise of IPL and T20 cricket in general a lot of voices have showed concern that Test cricket might die out because the entertainment of T20 simply cannot be replicated by Test cricket. Some people are taking the middle path that Test cricket, ODIs and T20 all have their place. A lot of people watching cricket are younger people and hence they choose T20 over Test cricket.
Is T20 really hurting Test Cricket?
Some might argue T20 cricket is making Test matches look boring and might even finish of the game. But I do not think Test cricket is losing it’s charm in India because of T20. I think it is because of the pitches Test matches are being played on.
Over the last 2 years India hosted 13 Test matches. 7 were drawn, 5 won by India and 1 lost. This includes 4 test series out of which India has won two and tied one. The 4th series is still continuing against Sri Lanka and guess what the first match is was drawn.
Now compare Test matches being played in Australia in the last two years. There were 9 Test matches held, 5 won by Australia while they lost 3. One match ended in a draw.
The stark comparison is there for everyone to see. When you play on sporting pitches of Australia there is a result 8 out of 9 times, where as in India there is a result 6 out of 13 times. Take for instance the Test match that just got over against Sri Lanka. 1598 runs were scored and only 21 wickets fell over 5 days. The worlds highest wicket-taker was bowling on a fifth day pitch leave alone taking wickets, he could hardly even trouble the batsmen. T20 is not the villain here, the pitch curator is the villain for making such feather beds.
Importance of Test Cricket
If you kill Test Cricket, you kill cricket. This will happen because the art of bowling is really polished and unrestricted only in Test matches. If a bowler picked up 2 wickets in 4 overs for 40 runs in a Test match, the bowler has bowled well. The scenario in T20 becomes different as 40 runs are too many. The focus is on runs rather than wickets for a bowler.
Test cricket is pure cricket. The batsman have to score runs, the bowlers have to take wickets. The simplicity of this concept brings about the skills in a cricketer out in its purest form. What do you think? Let me know with your comments.