Cricket is a sport where from a casual play in the backyard or a street to an International Test match, it is loved and played by tens of millions of people around the world and watched by even more. Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the center of which is a 22-yard (20-meter) pitch with a wicket at each end. Each team bats and fields in turn where the batters try to score runs and the fielders try to stop them. The team with the most runs wins. Cricket is played in three formats in the international level i.e., Test matches, One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals. These matches are played under the rules and regulations approved by the International Cricket Council.
Test cricket is the form of cricket with the longest match duration and it is considered the game’s highest standard. Test matches are played between national representative teams that have been granted Test status determined by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The term Test comes from the fact that the long duration matches are mentally and physically testing. Two teams of 11 players each play a four-innings match, which may last up to five days. It is generally considered the most complete examination of a team’s endurance and ability. The first officially recognized Test match took place on 15 to 19 March 1877 played between England and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Cricket has been established over the years and new forms of cricket have been introduced. With the induction of limited overs cricket, the sport has taken new heights in popularity of the sports world-wide and created the entertainment factor in the sport. The first ODI was played on 5 January 1971 between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The first Twenty20 International match was held on 5 August 2004 between the England and New Zealand women’s teams and on 17 February 2005 between Australia and New Zealand. The dynamics of limited over cricket have resulted in a more athletic and explosive form of cricket and have raised the bar high for fitness, speed, agility, etc. for all the players irrespective of their role. With such an impact of T20 cricket on the sport, it has been criticized for demeriting Test cricket. Many experts believe that with the outcome of T20 cricket young generations are hampered in their skills and concentration and also it is demotivating them to represent their country in Test cricket. With the format of franchise cricket with great success of T20 leagues around the world cricket is losing its authenticity in the form of Test cricket.
World Test Championship
The ICC World Test Championship is a league competition for Test cricket run by the International Cricket Council (ICC), which started on 1 August 2019. It is intended to be the premier championship for Test cricket. The inaugural World Test Championship Final will be played between India and New Zealand from June 18–22 June 2021 at Ageas Bowl, Southampton, England. With the debates on Test cricket and limited overs cricket existing the cricket fraternity can look forward to discovering the best Test team in the world when the focus has been only on the success of limited overs cricket.
The Ultimate form of Cricket
Test cricket provides no excuses for any one because both sides are left free to showcase their skill in the purest form. Above all what an asset a good bowler and a well-trained fielder can be for a team is shown only in this form of cricket. On the batting side, it is a test of resilience and talent, it is a test of batting wrists and timing and it is a test of how well you can perform when provided a chance. The genuine war of bat and ball is seen in just Test matches, it is the place where the genuine soul of a batsman and bowler is really ‘TESTED’.
Written by: Maharshi Vidhyarthi (Instagram: @mahi_103)
Vociferous Writers (Instagram: @vociferouswriters)