Monday, 11 January 2010

South Africa Series Showing That Test Cricket Is Worth Keeping

In the last couple of years there have been many questions asked about the future of test cricket, especially with the rising popularity and money in the one day game.

England's current four test series against South Africa has proven that Test cricket can be as tense and exciting as its shortened versions.

So far the series has had two tests going down to the final ball of the last day to decide the game, fortunately for England they have both denied South Africa victory (thanks to Graham Onions).

The tests have also seen some excellent displays from both sides with bat and ball, highlights including Ian Bell's 140 and Graeme Swann's fifer at Durban, Graeme Smith's 183 in Cape Town and De Wet's bowling in England's 2nd innings at Centurion.

The beauty of test cricket is that each achievement has a story behind it, weather it is Bell fighting to prove his worth in the batting line-up or Ntini playing his 100th test and bowling the final over to try and win the Test. Whilst these situations may also occur in one day cricket, there is a sense of greater achievement from Test cricket as it takes a lot more mental and physical strength to compete against the world’s best for five days.

With the referral system now working well and reducing the number of incorrect dismissals, it adds another dimension to the game. Players having to weigh up if it is worth calling for a referral or not, then followed by the tension as the replays are shown followed by the third umpires decision. Meaning that a result of a referral could swing the game either way, both physically and mentally.

The fourth and final test starts on Thursday with both teams having something to fight for. And I cannot wait.