Contact Us
Top banner desktop

How the outlook to Test Match is changing and making it more interesting in the Cricket Arena

Let’s take a look at the four series’ which have now changed the outlook to Test match cricket and making in interesting in Cricket Arena.

WS
Last updated: 27.02.2019
Glimpses of Recent Test Matches | Sports Social Blog

Get 100% Deposit Bonus on Bilbet

Exclusive bonuses and freebets available in IPL 2024. Turn your Cricket Knowledge into Money!

Test match cricket is the foundation that had been laid nearly centuries ago; to promote the game to the limits that it has reached in today’s day and age. Several fans thought of it as a platform to provide the groundwork for the next level in cricket, through ODIs, T20Is, or the recently held T10 cricket as well.


With the newer versions of the game being popularized even more than its predecessor, one did get the thought that Test match cricket has finally served its time, and the governing bodies should either focus on investing completely on the limited overs format or should in fact look of finding ways to make Tests more engaging. Debates were being held by famous cricket experts that the toss should go in favor of the visiting team in away conditions, in order to nullify the homely advantage that a particular host gets.


Though there were various talks and speculation surrounding the “toss” in Test cricket, the matter remained untouched and things went on as usual. The masses thought it would now need a miracle to see Test match cricket back to its competitive spirit like it earlier was.

Advertisement

But in the past four months, the average cricket fans have seen more of the proper application by teams on wickets-unfamiliar to their natural instincts rather than just relying on the external force of element subjected to support them. Let’s take a look at the four series’ which have now changed the outlook to Test match cricket and have made things much more interesting in the cricket arena.

1)     New Zealand Vs Pakistan


Pakistan hasn’t been able to play a series at home ever since the infamous incident in 2006, which saw terror attacks on the Sri Lankan squad, that left ICC with no other option but to cancel out any bilateral series that were to happen in Pakistan. But the grounds in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been nothing less but home to the Pakistan side. Having lost just one series in the last 12, one would have thought that Pakistan will have the major say in the 3 match Test series versus the Kiwis.


Flat tracks with dusty-spinning wickets were bound to favor the subcontinent nation, but an enthralling encounter in the first Test, lead by a vital fifer by left-arm spinner, Ajaz Patel restricted the Pakistan team to win the game as they fell short by just 4 runs towards the end. Pakistan did make a comeback in the third test, with Yasir Shah being the fulcrum of the damage, but it was in the final Test of the series when the skipper – Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls applied themselves to the wicket with utmost perfection and played the waiting game while giving the hosts a target of 280 to chase, which they eventually fell short by 123 runs.

The defeat in the final Test gave New Zealand one of their finest ever series wins in their cricketing history. The Zealand spinners comprising of Ish Sodhi, Ajaz Patel and Will Sommerville took a combined number of 22 wickets in the 3 Tests which proved to be the turning point for the visitors.

2)     Australia Vs India


For the very first time in 70 years of battling one another, it was the Indian team which was being labeled as the favorites of the Test series in Australia, especially with Steve Smith and David Warner being sidelined due to the ball tampering incident in Cape Town. But when there are expectations, there comes a lot of pressure. In the first Test at Adelaide, the tone was set in the series due to the heroics of Cheteshwar Pujara which got India out of a sticky situation after they had lost 4 wickets for under 50 in the first innings of the game. Pujara, however, hung in there and scored one of the most important hundred’s of his career as him along with the lower order batsmen constituted in India scoring a par total of 250. The Indian bowlers did the rest from their end and got a vital 15 runs lead in the second innings, which was later catapulted into a target of 323, thanks to contributions from Rahane, Kohli, and co.


Bumrah, Shami, and Ishant Sharma’s brilliance with the ball attained team India an emphatic 31 runs win to get the lead in the series.


The Aussies, however, got back in the second Test, through Nathan Lyon’s lethal finger spin as he guided Australia to level the series, with two more Tests to be played. With the opening slot being questioned, due to the batsman misfiring up top, the selectors, the management, and the skipper banked their trust on the Karnataka based batsman who was making the rounds in the domestic circuit and that man was none other than Mayank Agarwal.

Agarwal's counter-attacking display in the Melbourne Test against Nathan Lyon stunned the Australians as he provided team India with value-added support. But the man of the moment was Jasprit Bumrah, as he bazookad India’s way to yet another stunning win, with 10 wickets under his belt in the Boxing Day Test. For the first time, it was the Australian batsman who put under the pump by a pacer from an Indian origin. Team India gained the upper hand in the final Test as well, and had it not been for the rain, then India would have had a solid opportunity of making their series win far more convincing, but 2-1 was good enough as India became the first ever Asian team to beat Australia in their very own den after 71 long years of playing the game. Pujara’s adaptation on the hard Aussie wicket after facing more than 1200 balls and Bumrah’s quick pace and execution by taking 21 wickets in the four-Test paid huge dividends for the Virat Kohli and his men.


3)     Sri Lanka Vs England

England is known as the most complete team of today’s day and age still had loads of work to do when they had to square off against Sri Lanka away from home in a three-match Test series. Sri Lanka though might have not been in their most solid form in international cricket, but the home conditions in a five day Test were subjected to assist them and their spinners in particular. But somehow, the England batsmen were up for it as centuries from newcomer Ben Foakes, Joe Root, and Jonny Bairstow throughout the series sent the world a message that the English batsmen now knew how to counter spin.



Their own spinners such as Jack Leach, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali were far more deadly and accurate while bowling on the rough Sri Lankan wickets, and their ability to scalp a victim every now and then was working massively in favor of the three lions as they registered an iconic clean sweep in the subcontinent island by 3-0. The spin trio of Leach, Ali, and Rashid took a staggering 48 wickets in the three Tests, which largely signified that England was no longer one-trick ponies who relied on overcast conditions to swing the ball from their conventional heroes comprising of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

4) Sri Lanka Vs South Africa


After having a torrid time against England at home, followed by a Test series defeat against Australia away from home, the Protease were expected to do business as usual against the Lankans in the two-match Test series, especially after clean sweeping a competitive Pakistan team 3-0. The first Test at Durban seemed to go in favor of the hosts, as they gave Sri Lanka a par score of 304 to chase in the fourth and final innings of the Test. Every cricket fan and an expert knows that anticipating a team to chase a score above 300 on a wicket that’s getting tattered while heading into the fourth and fifth day is one of the most challenging tasks in international cricket. However, the scenario completely changed when Kusal Perera went in there to bat.


With the visitors teetering at 110-5 at one point to 226-9 on the other, no one could have imagined what happened next, as a heroic knock of 153* by the gritty Perera with 12 boundaries and 5 sixes under his belt, single-handedly won Sri Lanka the match, in what shall be considered as one of the most memorable knocks in cricketing history for the many more years to come.


A 78 run stand with the final batsman, reminded the world of Brian Lara’s 153* against a power-packed Australian bowling attack. The South African players, fans, and the rest of the cricket fraternity were shocked with the outcome of the Test, as Sri Lanka had now gained an unassailable lead.

With one final Test to be played, the money was on South Africa to make a comeback, as the Kusal Perera’s knock was a once in a lifetime moment, that was difficult to replicate on a consistent basis.  South Africa was bundled out for 222 in the first innings of the second Test and had got Sri Lanka dismissed for 154 in the second innings while getting a vital 68 run lead.


But this time around, the Sri Lankan bowlers were up for the task as a four-fer from Suranga Lakmal, followed by 3 wickets by the spinner Dhananjaya de Silva, while 2 wickets by Kasun Rajitha and 1 by Vishwa Fernando did the rest. The South Africans failed to capitalize on the lead and were all out for just 128 runs while posting a target of 197.


Sri Lanka had another win in their sight, but they still had work to do. Duane Olivier and Kagiso Rabada did the early damage by taking 2 wickets in quick succession, but it wasn’t to be as a determined Kusal Mendis and Oshada Fernando compiled an astonishing 165 runs partnership with Mendis scoring a valuable 84 (110), while Fernando’s 75 (106) provided added assistance. Sri Lanka had done the unthinkable and proved to the world that Sri Lankan cricket was far from dead by beating a formidable South Africa side 2-0 in their very own den.

Conclusion

The recent four away Test series wins signified that a game in whites can be won if a particular team filled with skilled batters and bowlers look to apply themselves with the proper armor.


New Zealand’s triumph in the UAE emphasized on the importance of staying in there for as long as possible while having spin bowling assets of your own. Team India’s persistence in the nation down under highlighted about the importance of a proper pace bowling battery on hard-hitting decks. England’s clean sweep of Sri Lanka told cricket lovers about countering spin on withering wickets, while Sri Lanka’s stunning win against South Africa was a pure example of cricket being the real winner, through a proper representation of cohesiveness and functionality in the field by a particular unit. The last four months have indeed been a classic case of why Test cricket is the epitome of excelling in the art of playing cricket.

Top banner desktop

Chase Your Sport

Stay up-to-date on the latest sports news, stats, expert analysis and trends, including cricket, football, wrestling, tennis, basketball, Formula One and more. Find previews, schedules, results of upcoming events, and fantasy tips on Chase Your Sport.