3469 days ago
Limited Overs Cricket – does it really Test (cricket)?
There is this recent emerging trend in cricket where any test cricket series between two nations is invariably followed by an additional ODI series. More often than not, a couple of T20 matches also are wriggled in. Not only does this make one realize the diminishing importance of test cricket but also defeats the purpose of cricket as a “gentleman’s game”. Limited overs cricket – ODI and T20, has become a blatant power hitting show where the importance batting or bowling technique are non-existent. Due to its short duration and a potential money-spinner, this form of cricket has become an instant hit among the players and the masses alike.
Owing to this woeful trend, aspiring players tend to shape their game according to the shorter version of the game since the very beginning, focusing more on hitting every ball out of the park in any which way possible. The emphasis has shifted from sticking to the wicket to swinging the bat at each and every delivery. Similarly, the focus in the bowling department has strayed from striving for the perfect line and length to targeting the block hole. The quality of players is now judged by their ability to make fast runs instead of their tendency to stay put on the wicket.
Case in point the current play-offs between England and India which have progressed from the test series to one-day internationals. India seems to have bounced back in the ODI series after an entirely forgettable performance in the test series. After not being able to see through the entire five days of the last two test matches, India has promptly gone on to record convincing wins in the second and third ODIs. The question is does this absolve them of their inefficiencies in test cricket? Public memory is short-lived; successive wins in the ODI series will conveniently overshadow the dismal test performance of the team. But is this fair?
Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja have been phenomenal failures in the test series, their technique deserting them, their character questionable. Cricket is all about unerring technique, character, modifying one’s game according to the need of the situation, sweating it out in the middle and holding onto one’s wicket like dear life. It is about perseverance, patience and grit. Can one tumultuous knock from Shikhar Dhawan wipe out all the aforementioned inefficiencies? Can Kohli hope to be forgiven his abysmal test outings after scoring a 71 against Middlesex? Can Ravindra Jadeja with absolutely no adaptability in his cricketing character hide behind his 4 wickets in the second ODI? The answer is an emphatic NO.