The Real Test

Here is a classic one from Ramachandra Guha
“In my opinion, Test cricket may be compared to the finest Scotch, 50-overs a side to Indian Made Foreign Liquor, and 20-20 to the local hooch. The addict who cannot have the first or the second will make do with the last. The pleasures of the shortest game are intense but also wholly ephemeral. There is no time to savour delights offered in such a rushed and heady fashion. The medium form allows one to take in the booze more leisurely. Here, a batsman can bat long enough to develop an innings, to play strokes other than the hoick over midwicket or mid on.

But proper cricket can only be Test cricket. Spread out over five days, the game unfolds as in an epic drama. No restrictions are placed on anyone. As with the finest Scotch, one savours every sip; and yet, as with the finest Scotch, the whole is infinitely greater than the parts.”

Check out the complete article at: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080329/jsp/opinion/story_9055430.jsp

I have often been involved in coffee table discussions wherein the debate is over Test or One-day or 20-20, which one is going to be more popular, exciting and interesting. The above liner is a clincher. I will remember that!

No doubt, that 20-20 cricket will be a crowd puller, an instant hit. The IPL has left no stone unturned by roping in popular film stars into the fray. Moreever, ShahRukh and Preity Zinta are owning cricket teams and Cricket is becoming more of a tamasha or a mega bollywood bash. This will no doubt increase the TRPs, but where will all these lead cricket to. Are we seeing the beginning of the end of the gentlemans game?

20-20 cricket is more a show of brawn over brains, strength over strategies. Be ready to see more of the upper cuts and the hoicks over the mid wicket.

The BCCI seems to be hell bent on spoiling the test cricket in the country, by preparing some of the flattest wickets ever seen for the test matches. The match at Chepauk was a dud. Sehwag provided the much needed spark, but overall, the match was a hugely forgettable one.

It was very heartening to see Dravid crossing the 10,000 runs mark at Chepauk. It is a very coveted milestone and i for one, do feel that there is no more a deserving candidate than Dravid. Javagal Srinath pours his heart out in this interview and flowers a lot many accolades (all deserving!) on dravid – http://cricketnext.com/news/dravid-an-icon-of-test-cricket-srinath/30643-14.html.

Dravid has been the No.1. batsmen for India in test cricket during the period from 2002 to 2007. There were a lot many centuries and double centuries towards a winning cause. Tendulkar was more of a dud during this period and there were occassional brilliances from him and Laxman. Ganguly, with a suspect defence, has never laid claims of being a Test great.

2007 has been an off-year for Dravid, which included the world-cup debacle and some low scores in tests. His work ethics and attitude are of the first grade and he is a role model for any youngster in any profession. I just hope that he survives at least the next 2-3 years of test cricket and scores tons of runs.

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