Thursday, October 14, 2010


Two 1st innings which were starkly similar. Two 2nd innings which were annoyingly alike. Two 3rd innings which were curiously comparable. Yet, two test matches which ended diametrically different from each other. .

The Recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia proved to the world that the calculated aggression of one day cricket or the mindless madness of the T20 is no match to the layered drama and unpredictability of test cricket. Just the last innings alone provided extremities with respect to situations and positions of advantage. While in Mohali, Aussies called the shots from the first ball of the fourth innings until a certain Superhero christened ‘Lax’man blew their hopes apart with deft touches, soft caresses and wrist work which was almost biologically improbable, in Bengaluru, the Kanga‘rue’ was nipped in the bud itself by a toddler learning to walk on an international cricket pitch and a veteran who could actually bat with a walking stick. Such has been the beauty of this series; such has been the beauty of test cricket all along.

If there was ever a time when test cricket needed a vaccine to protect itself from the rapidly spreading T20 virus and the dangerous ‘spot-fixing’ bacteria, this was it. Even purists were almost ready to show the red signal to test cricket; what with one-sided series, empty stadia and abysmally low TRPs on one side and stomach churning scandals involving spot fixing on the other side. Test cricket needed two teams who could turn the tide for it; two teams who could never play dull cricket even if they tried; two teams who, irrespective of rankings and ratings, brought out the best in them while facing each other. India and Australia together shouted ‘Aye Aye Sir!” to bring cricket’s purest form the respect and laurels it has always deserved. Pitch conditions took a back seat; toss result was given but a second glance; Umpiring errors were long forgotten after instantaneous moments of disbelief. What lasted was passion – pure, frantic passion. If VVS Laxman’s murderous gestures towards Pragyan Ojha in the dying moments of the first test gave weightage to the theory of test cricket’s ability to build up unbridled passion even inside the softest of individuals, Sachin Tendulkar’s vigorous punch of the air and the emotionally charged up expression on his face at the end of the second test simply shut out the doubts regarding the said theory. No other format of cricket could bring its most loved son to such heights of delirium. Tendulkar, for a brief moment, became the 10 year old curly haired boy who hated losing even plastic ball cricket matches played amidst the busy streets of Bandra. That little boy had given test cricket its due on his behalf. Test cricket has always paid rich dividends to those dues and will continue doing so.

There might be nail biting last ball finishes in One day cricket. There might be Ties followed by insane scenes involving super overs in T20. But nothing can match the sheer purity of the game which is exhibited only in test cricket. May the oldest and unblemished form of the game continue giving us sustained happiness and that rare sense of fulfillment even after having sat motionless and unproductive for five continuous days. Long live Test cricket. Long live its masterful artistes.


  1. dei amazing da...loved it.very well written."in Bengaluru, the Kanga‘rue’ was nipped in the bud itself by a toddler learning to walk on an international cricket pitch and a veteran who could actually bat with a walking stick", wow amazing da,brilliant word play.

  2. excellent machi :)...too good...passion it was, indeed :)... amazing write up da..