England Pakistan Test Series
Over the years there has talk on the future of Test Cricket with many countries preferring to squeeze in as many one day internationals possible. Even Though teams like Australia have played outstanding cricket over the last 20 years scoring at a brisk pace and skittling out opposition twice in the match which made up for exciting Test Match Cricket producing results almost every match in the last couple of years Aussies have struggled and that has been reflected in results which has produced a lot of drawn matches worldwide. What has been a cause for worry is the fact that senior cricketers have quit Test Matches to concentrate in one dayers. It all started with Indian pacer Javagal Srinath taking a strange decision to quit Tests to prolong his one day career. Srinath's decision was strange in the sense because usually most players consider Test Matches as a test of ones skill and the likes of Warne had quit one dayers to prolong their Test Match Career. Javagal Srinath's decision influenced the likes of Andrew Flintoff one of the best all rounders in recent times to quit Tests and focus on one dayers and within no time Aussie fast bolwer Brett Lee followed suit.
The England-Pakistan test series hosted by England though produced a result in all the 3 matches has also put a serious question mark over the future of Test Cricket. England won the first two test matches comfortably without scoring more than 354 in an innings. Pakistan battered in the first two matches won the third won scoring 308 all out in first innings and just about managed 148 for 6 in second innings to win the test match. If England and Pakistan can win Test Matches comfortably with highest innings scores of 354 and 308 it speaks of mediocre cricket. English commentors were speaking highly of English wins saying that they played outstanding cricketing by batting, fielding and bowling exceptionally. If a winning team averages 28.80 runs per wicket or 288 per innings then one must say it is exceptionally poor batting. Pakistan proved even worse averaging 19.39 per wicket or 193 per innings.
It could well be said that the pitches were not conducive for batting or bowlers bowled exceptionally well but the fact that only 2526 runs were scored in the entire series for 106 wickets is an invitation for ICC and cricket viewers to squeeze in more shorter formats of the game at the expense of Test Cricket. In this regard ICC will be well advised to have Test Matches between two balanced teams and pitches that are helpful for both batting and bowling. It would not be a bad idea for ICC to penalize host nations should they provide poor pitches.
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