Yesterday India lost the fifth and final test against England, signalling an end to this summer’s international test cricket. And not a minute too soon.
Over the years cricket has been brandished by many as ‘boring’, consequently in recent times the sport has tried to reinvent itself. This can be seen by the introduction of One-Day International fixtures as well as 20/20. The successes of both formats are obvious. However their rise has led to a decrease in the standard of their more traditional companion – Test cricket.
Whilst India got off to a strong start, drawing the first test and winning the second at Lords – and therefore making this tour immediately more successful than their last, having lost 4-0 three summers back – their performances soon deteriorated. England won the third by 266 runs in Southampton, before running riot at Old Trafford and the Oval, in the fourth and fifth tests, winning by an innings and 54 runs and then by an innings and 244 runs, respectively.
Only the second time India have been dismissed for less than 200 runs in five successive innings
First time India have been dismissed for less than 100 runs since April 2008
India batted for just 90.3 overs in this match after batting only 89.4 overs at Manchester
First time ever India have lost successive test matches within three days and by an innings
I could not agree more with the analysis of Jonathan Liew in today’s Telegraph, who stated: ‘India’s third heaviest defeat in history was pretty exciting while it lasted. Sporting bloodlust always is. Within minutes, though, it leaves you feeling hollow inside.’
England scored more runs (101) in their 11.3 overs of batting yesterday, than India did in their entire innings (94), which lasted only 29.2 overs. Just to reiterate, India were bowled out without lasting a single session’s worth of cricket, which in a game that should last 15 sessions, is disastrous for both India and the sport as a whole. This is the second time in this series that England won the test match in less than three days. Whilst this is great news for English cricket, who appear to be drifting round the corner, it is not for cricket. Test matches must last five days. That much is obvious, especially with ticket prices reaching £100 for a day.
The most exciting games, which provide the most entertaining viewing, are very close encounters. Supporters and neutrals both much prefer to watch sport where there is a possibility that either team could end victorious for as long as possible. Balance is essential. Three and five test series (each lasting five days!) is a necessity in this modern age, and that must be achieved, whatever the consequences to the other formats of the sport.