The Case For and Against the Abandoned Test

by Devanshu Mehta

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, accused of the first-degree murder of Test Cricket

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, accused of the first-degree murder of Test Cricket

India took a draw in the third test against West Indies, with less than a run a ball required and seven wickets in hand with 15 overs remaining. All hell broke lose.

For the defense: Kartikeya Date:

The World’s Number 1 Cricket fan did the math.

A 50 over old wicket V A 315 over old wicket,
A heavy outfield V The usual lightning quick ODI outfields,
The lack of any powerplays V The lack of a thirty yard circle,
Very strict interpretation of the wide V A standard Test match interpretation
Free hits for front foot no-balls V No Free hits for front foot no-balls

For the prosecution: Alternative Cricket:

It was cowardly from Dhoni, and showed that his tactical awareness still leaves a lot to be desired. As an aside, it is hard to reconcile this ‘First, Do Not Lose’ attitude from Dhoni with his perceived aura of ‘fearlessness’.

Defense: Subash Jayaraman:

I am not insinuating that the fans shouldn’t question the tactics of their teams but to fundamentally doubt the players’ characters that have brought us wins, trophies and covered us in vicarious glory, is a little extreme.

Prosecution: Samir Chopra:

To be a true champion it is not enough that one sit on top of a numerical ladder of rankings and points; it is necessary the putative champion show the desire and the ability to respond to challenges, to find a way to transcend limitations and rise to the top of the game. [..] As for Test cricket, in such dire times, you need better guardians.

Voice of reason, Homer:

What does dominance achieve anyways? Bragging rights for a few years, an inflated sense of worth, followed by years of scorn and talk of comeuppance. On the other hand, longevity creates a system of sustained excellence. Coupled with the knowledge that the team is fallible, it keeps the team honest. It also allows for constant regeneration – the ambition being simple – win more than you lose.

India’s aim has to be for creating a dynasty, not dominance.

Prosecution: Zaltzmann:

At a time when the five-day format is widely acknowledged to be fighting for its future under sustained assault from various angles, Test cricket has punched itself in the face. Again.

Kartikeya Date, on the attack:

An impulse to make character judgments on the spur of the moment says nothing about any passionate interest in cricket or even in a particular cricket team. It has nothing to do with being a fan. It is simply a lazy, mediocre unwillingness to be a sporting observer. And it will happen again, the next time India suffer a batting collapse or fail to win. We’ll continue to hear the same nonsense about “mindsets” and “attitude” and “courage” (or preening tails that are not between legs!) and “tenacity” and “respect for the fans”. We’ll continue to have armchair coaches and armchair psychotherapists and armchair motivational speakers who will repeatedly turn cricket into some silly testosterone fueled race. Committed peddlers of grievance are a contagious tribe. They peddle only because they care so much. Social networking has merely turbo charged all the concern.

And the last word goes to Jarrod Kimber:

As the Woody Allen of sports [cricket] is far too introspective, manic and more likely to sleep with an adopted daughter than most sports.

Most sports are less likely to declare a major format of theirs dead on a daily basis.

That’s part of cricket’s charm, the worrying mumbling sport in the corner of the room whilst the other sport try and pick up.

It’s not smooth or charming, it’s kind of accidentally vulgar and offensive, but in an intellectual way.

Cricket’s always been like this, the problem is everyone looking back looking for the golden era.

Kimber wins.