From the Viewsroom

The enduring romance of Test cricket

B Baskar | Updated on January 21, 2021

The series win in Australia brings the five-day format to fore

For the cricket romantic, Test cricket mirrors life — with its highs and lows, ebbs and flows, peaks and plateaus. Added to this is a good dose of uncertainty and unpredictability. The recently concluded India-Australia Test series had all these elements and more.

Reams and reams have already been written about India’s stupendous achievements Down Under in the last three days. This fearless bunch of cricketers showed spirit, audacity and self-belief to defeat one of the best Test teams in the world in their own backyard. What’s more this success was achieved with almost half the regular India side having to sit out. The numbers were stark — for the Brisbane Test, the Australian bowling attack had a combined career wicket haul of more than 1,000 — the Indian bowling attack had a mere 13 wickets between them.

The India-Australia Test matches have attained an aura of their own. These two sides manage to produce the most riveting of contests time after time, starting from that iconic Kolkata Test match of 2001, to the ‘breaching’ of the Gabba fortress on Monday.

So, has this series brought back the interest in Test matches in a cricket world saturated with T20 leagues? One certainly hopes so as the drama and excitement of the Brisbane Test surely surpassed that of any T20 match.

India’s series victory was a combination of T20 pluck and good old grit and endurance. Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari and R Ashwin’s feats are testimony to this. Even Rishabh Pant’s audacious hook shot in the dying minutes of the Gabba Test was reminiscent of Rohan Kanhai’s “falling down” shot he played back in the day.

This intensely fought series, which on occasion turned nasty, ended on a poignant note with the Indian team presenting Nathan Lyon with an Indian jersey signed by all the Indian players for reaching the landmark 100 Tests. This Indian team can not only battle hard on the pitch, it can also show remarkable grace and sportsmanship off it. Hats off to them.

Published on January 21, 2021

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