Michael Jeh January 6, 2010

Why Test cricket isn't dead

What’s best about Test cricket played on this sort of pitch between two relatively evenly-matched teams is that it has provided a platform for every type of cricketer to be villain and hero
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I write this post hastily; Pakistan delicately poised at 101 for 5, chasing 176 for what is an impossible, inevitable, guaranteed, 50-50, uncertain, comprehensive win. It is a measure of the quality of the Test match and the SCG surface that any of these adjectives can be used to describe this wonderful contest. In fact, by the time I finish writing this brief post, any of the earlier words might be redundant. That’s the sort of game it’s been.

What’s best about Test cricket played on this sort of pitch between two relatively evenly matched teams is that it has provided a platform for every type of cricketer to be villain and hero. When was the last time we had a game that created a stage for cricket’s entire cast to play the lead role at different times during a single game?

There we go … as I speak, Kamran Akmal has sewn up the role of Chief Villain in this performance. For a brief moment there, I was wondering if the sheer romance of this gripping, see-saw encounter would have seen him claim ultimate redemption by leading Pakistan’s fragile tail to a glorious victory. Such were the depths of despair he plumbed when dropping those four chances that it was almost tailor-made for the Hollywood script with poor old Kamran smiting a six to win the game by one wicket in the lengthening Sydney shadows.

Brad Haddin may already know what that feels like. Having played a dreadful shot in the first innings and a careless flick across the line to Danish Kaneria in the second, his shot at redemption came when Salman Butt glanced one down leg side. Whatever transpires in the next hour or so, his place amongst the “greatest wicketkeeper-catches by an Australian” is assured. Alas, not so for Akmal Snr.

Younger brother Umar, a breathtaking talent if ever there was one, still has the winning of the game in his hands, having started off in inglorious fashion by spilling a regulation chance in the second over of the match. Who would have thought the future of the game would still be in his grasp? When he launched that stunning assault on Nathan Hauritz in the first innings, it would have taken a brave man to predict these two would still control the destiny of the match two days later. And so it has come to pass …

This game has offered everything. Fast bowlers, legspinners, offspinners, great catches, straightforward drops, good umpiring, lots of overturned decisions, edges that have gone unnoticed, brilliant captaincy at times from both skippers and some very ordinary tactics too. Amazingly, Ricky Ponting, much-vilified for choosing to bat first, may still have the last laugh if his bowlers can make best use of bowling last on this fourth-day pitch which is still doing enough, yet without any real demons.

It may well come down to which team can conquer their demons in the next few minutes. Surely there’s another twist left in this game. I’ll sign off on this post with Pakistan edging closer at 120 for 6 and the game still in the balance. Test cricket dead? Not bloody likely!

Michael Jeh is an Oxford Blue who played first-class cricket, and a Playing Member of the MCC. He lives in Brisbane

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dr dipstick on January 11, 2010, 23:36 GMT

    The constant bickering over whether test cricket is dead, and that T20 is the future of the game is really starting to annoy me...and it seems many others. Test cricket represents the foundation of the sport; the reason the game exists, and has a 133 year tradition. T20 has no tradition, and is merely the latest attempt to market the game in other markets..think ODI's 30 years ago... a lot of people predicted the death of tests then... now ODI's are under scrutiny. So please, lets put things in perspective. Both (all) formats have a following, so why must one of them die for the other to succeed? How many other sports have a distinctly separate audience? How lucky are we? If they say diversity is the spice of life, then cricket's the only sport that achieves this. I'm a cricket fan, I love the drama and pathos only a test can bring, but I also enjoy the hit and giggle stuff too... looks to me they're both here to stay...

  • faisal on January 11, 2010, 17:10 GMT

    i think test cricket is dead becoz its too long these days its not possible to watch 5 continues day coz life is so busy (exception ex cricketers and old peoples) when test cricket started (1877) it was good to watch 5 long day in the ground its not going to die coz its boring and not exiting. i think icc should take step and abanded test coz you can't watch the whole game for 5 days. One day cricket is the futures test cricket

  • KK on January 9, 2010, 23:23 GMT

    At the moment the Pakistan team seems lacking in moral strength. Not surprising given the recent negatives they seem to have been embroiled in like tossing the one-day series match to keep India from getting into the finals, ball tampering etc. If they play the game with true sportsmanship their true talents will really make them a force to reckon with. Right now I think they of doubtful Test standard.

  • kaushik on January 9, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    Why kamran is accused or why he is projected as 'villian'?It was on day 3 he missed out chances but Pakistan didnot lose the the match on that day.

  • John M on January 8, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    Sorry guys, but I have to side with Mahek here. T20 fills the stands. Tests don't. Test matches are like the curate's egg - good in parts. It is a rare test match that is exciting for the entire match. We live in an age where instant gratification is the standard. Traditional test cricket by its very nature does not provide that.

  • Rahul Bose on January 7, 2010, 23:15 GMT

    To me this test showed why Test cricket will soon be dead. No doubt it was a gripping contest, but it exposed the lack of quality in the Pakistan team. How many quality test teams are around these days (Aus, SA, Ind, Eng, Srl at home). That is a few less than what I remember in the 90s, plus where are the legendary new ball attacks that were so common. I don't see a Walsh and Ambrose combo anywhere. And the new batting talents are like Akmal, straight out of T20 cricket, with ability to bat exactly 20 overs.

  • Ramesh on January 7, 2010, 19:25 GMT

    I watched this game from day one to the end and always taught and was confident that australia would do something out of the ordinary to win this game. Any team in the test cricket arena who has self belief that they can win they will win ninety nine times out of a hundred. This was no captaincy act it was just belief, good fielding and super catching, and remember catches win matches. I am from Brian Lara country Trinidad living in America and always supported Australia because they play a different brand of cricket. Tell me which country in the world has more close and exciting matches than Australia, they will always feature in the most memorable games because they just don't know how to throw in the towel. throw in the towel is not a sentence in their vocabulary, that is why I loves watching them I loves good test match cricket. I remember this statement by Tony Cozier cricket is a game of glorious uncertainities and misfortunes. That's what makes test cricket so unique.

  • Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad on January 7, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    H'able Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, President, Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

    Sir, I know your favorite game is not cricket, rather it is Polo. However, majority of this nation loves the game of cricket to the extent of madness. Shaheed Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, like Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was also an ardent follower of the game of cricket.

    Pakistanis understand cricket and its intricacies very well. And they never mind losing against a team which plays better. But, an abject surrender, always casts a spell of gloom over the entire nation, as if, we have lost a war against an arch enemy.

    Today the entire nation is virtually stunned to see that our team was bowled out in the 2nd innings in just 38 over's of a test match.

    The surrender, at Sydney cricket test by Pakistan team can be aptly explained in one sentence i.e. our cricket team has snatched defeat, from the jaws of victory.

    Many cricketing experts will now be dwelling upon the reasons of this collective Hara-kiri. However, it is high time that certain heads must roll, for sheer incompetency in their respective fields. Otherwise also, accountability is the buzzword, nowadays.

    Under the circumstances, Your Honour, may consider the following proposals on urgent basis, to salvage whatever is left in the Australian tour.

    1.Immediately, sack the entire top management of the PCB, and appoint a world class business professional (e.g. Messers Asad Omar or Razzaq Dawood) to head and run the organization, with clear cut objectives to promote the Pakistani test, one day and T20 XI's as No.1 world teams, in three years time.

    2. Sack the entire selection committee and appoint Dr. Muhammad Ali Shah, as chairman of the selectors, with Mr. Amir Suhail, Mr. Zaheer Abbas and Mr. Rashid Latif as member selectors.

    3. Replace Mr. Intekhab Alam with Mr. Javed Miandad as coach.

    4.Immediately, replace Mr. Muhammad Yousaf with Mr. Shahid Afridi (already present in Australia) as captain.

    5. Immediately, replace Mr. Kamran Akmal with Mr. Sarfaraz as wicket keeper.

    Sir, the entire nation is looking towards you in this hour of despondency, for a surgical action, to revive the lost hope of your terror ridden fellow countrymen.

    I am absolutely sure that, your timely actions to stem the rot of the PCB, will further enhance your image and prestige in the eyes of 170 million Pakistanis.

    Warm regards,

    Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad

  • Mahek on January 7, 2010, 16:37 GMT

    And how about the trampolines at the WACA, Chris? Should the Asians call pitches like those doctored to suit the home team? We don't spit on those pitches the way the Aussies do when they can't chase a sub-150 target on a turner.

  • Chris on January 7, 2010, 12:14 GMT

    CricFan, the difference is that the pitch wasn't prepared to favour either side. If anything, it favoured Pakistan, due to their seam attack.

    Preparing a spinning pitch because you know that that's the only way you can beat opposition, which some countries have done in the past, is a slightly different matter. Still not wrong, but slightly underhanded.

    Nonetheless, when you go to a place like India, you expect to play on doctored spinning pitches. It's a bit of a surprise when you find one in England because they've figured it's their best chance of a win.

  • dr dipstick on January 11, 2010, 23:36 GMT

    The constant bickering over whether test cricket is dead, and that T20 is the future of the game is really starting to annoy me...and it seems many others. Test cricket represents the foundation of the sport; the reason the game exists, and has a 133 year tradition. T20 has no tradition, and is merely the latest attempt to market the game in other markets..think ODI's 30 years ago... a lot of people predicted the death of tests then... now ODI's are under scrutiny. So please, lets put things in perspective. Both (all) formats have a following, so why must one of them die for the other to succeed? How many other sports have a distinctly separate audience? How lucky are we? If they say diversity is the spice of life, then cricket's the only sport that achieves this. I'm a cricket fan, I love the drama and pathos only a test can bring, but I also enjoy the hit and giggle stuff too... looks to me they're both here to stay...

  • faisal on January 11, 2010, 17:10 GMT

    i think test cricket is dead becoz its too long these days its not possible to watch 5 continues day coz life is so busy (exception ex cricketers and old peoples) when test cricket started (1877) it was good to watch 5 long day in the ground its not going to die coz its boring and not exiting. i think icc should take step and abanded test coz you can't watch the whole game for 5 days. One day cricket is the futures test cricket

  • KK on January 9, 2010, 23:23 GMT

    At the moment the Pakistan team seems lacking in moral strength. Not surprising given the recent negatives they seem to have been embroiled in like tossing the one-day series match to keep India from getting into the finals, ball tampering etc. If they play the game with true sportsmanship their true talents will really make them a force to reckon with. Right now I think they of doubtful Test standard.

  • kaushik on January 9, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    Why kamran is accused or why he is projected as 'villian'?It was on day 3 he missed out chances but Pakistan didnot lose the the match on that day.

  • John M on January 8, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    Sorry guys, but I have to side with Mahek here. T20 fills the stands. Tests don't. Test matches are like the curate's egg - good in parts. It is a rare test match that is exciting for the entire match. We live in an age where instant gratification is the standard. Traditional test cricket by its very nature does not provide that.

  • Rahul Bose on January 7, 2010, 23:15 GMT

    To me this test showed why Test cricket will soon be dead. No doubt it was a gripping contest, but it exposed the lack of quality in the Pakistan team. How many quality test teams are around these days (Aus, SA, Ind, Eng, Srl at home). That is a few less than what I remember in the 90s, plus where are the legendary new ball attacks that were so common. I don't see a Walsh and Ambrose combo anywhere. And the new batting talents are like Akmal, straight out of T20 cricket, with ability to bat exactly 20 overs.

  • Ramesh on January 7, 2010, 19:25 GMT

    I watched this game from day one to the end and always taught and was confident that australia would do something out of the ordinary to win this game. Any team in the test cricket arena who has self belief that they can win they will win ninety nine times out of a hundred. This was no captaincy act it was just belief, good fielding and super catching, and remember catches win matches. I am from Brian Lara country Trinidad living in America and always supported Australia because they play a different brand of cricket. Tell me which country in the world has more close and exciting matches than Australia, they will always feature in the most memorable games because they just don't know how to throw in the towel. throw in the towel is not a sentence in their vocabulary, that is why I loves watching them I loves good test match cricket. I remember this statement by Tony Cozier cricket is a game of glorious uncertainities and misfortunes. That's what makes test cricket so unique.

  • Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad on January 7, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    H'able Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, President, Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

    Sir, I know your favorite game is not cricket, rather it is Polo. However, majority of this nation loves the game of cricket to the extent of madness. Shaheed Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, like Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was also an ardent follower of the game of cricket.

    Pakistanis understand cricket and its intricacies very well. And they never mind losing against a team which plays better. But, an abject surrender, always casts a spell of gloom over the entire nation, as if, we have lost a war against an arch enemy.

    Today the entire nation is virtually stunned to see that our team was bowled out in the 2nd innings in just 38 over's of a test match.

    The surrender, at Sydney cricket test by Pakistan team can be aptly explained in one sentence i.e. our cricket team has snatched defeat, from the jaws of victory.

    Many cricketing experts will now be dwelling upon the reasons of this collective Hara-kiri. However, it is high time that certain heads must roll, for sheer incompetency in their respective fields. Otherwise also, accountability is the buzzword, nowadays.

    Under the circumstances, Your Honour, may consider the following proposals on urgent basis, to salvage whatever is left in the Australian tour.

    1.Immediately, sack the entire top management of the PCB, and appoint a world class business professional (e.g. Messers Asad Omar or Razzaq Dawood) to head and run the organization, with clear cut objectives to promote the Pakistani test, one day and T20 XI's as No.1 world teams, in three years time.

    2. Sack the entire selection committee and appoint Dr. Muhammad Ali Shah, as chairman of the selectors, with Mr. Amir Suhail, Mr. Zaheer Abbas and Mr. Rashid Latif as member selectors.

    3. Replace Mr. Intekhab Alam with Mr. Javed Miandad as coach.

    4.Immediately, replace Mr. Muhammad Yousaf with Mr. Shahid Afridi (already present in Australia) as captain.

    5. Immediately, replace Mr. Kamran Akmal with Mr. Sarfaraz as wicket keeper.

    Sir, the entire nation is looking towards you in this hour of despondency, for a surgical action, to revive the lost hope of your terror ridden fellow countrymen.

    I am absolutely sure that, your timely actions to stem the rot of the PCB, will further enhance your image and prestige in the eyes of 170 million Pakistanis.

    Warm regards,

    Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad

  • Mahek on January 7, 2010, 16:37 GMT

    And how about the trampolines at the WACA, Chris? Should the Asians call pitches like those doctored to suit the home team? We don't spit on those pitches the way the Aussies do when they can't chase a sub-150 target on a turner.

  • Chris on January 7, 2010, 12:14 GMT

    CricFan, the difference is that the pitch wasn't prepared to favour either side. If anything, it favoured Pakistan, due to their seam attack.

    Preparing a spinning pitch because you know that that's the only way you can beat opposition, which some countries have done in the past, is a slightly different matter. Still not wrong, but slightly underhanded.

    Nonetheless, when you go to a place like India, you expect to play on doctored spinning pitches. It's a bit of a surprise when you find one in England because they've figured it's their best chance of a win.

  • Jason on January 7, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    As much as I enjoyed the Aussie victory I really felt for Pakistan and particularly Akmal. But unforunately if Pakistan are serious then either Akmal loses the gloves and stays for his batting or he is dropped altogether. The man with the gloves sets the standard in the feild. I could not imagine South Africa, Australia or India persisting with a keeper who literally lost his team a test match with three easy easy catchs. But how serious are Pakistan?

  • Neel on January 7, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Hi Nick, Who's number in Test Cricket again? Oh right, India. Whoever is at fault (and i am not saying Lalit Modi is NOT), there must be some balance that is approached with regard to Test and balancing it in the FTP. The ICC must take control of it. Boards are self serving, and will never think of the game as a whole. As for Pakistan, this must hurt. It hurt me, and I'm an India fan! Kamran Akmal needs to be out of the team. Four drops is just ridiculous.

  • derida derider on January 7, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    A great game, which in truth Pakistan deserved to win (I'm an Aussie).

    As others have said, it's the pitch that helped make it great. A bouncy pitch helps both bowlers and batsmen. Quicks can obviously use it. Spinners - especially wrist spinners - like it because it makes it impossible for batsmen to play back and read the spin off the pitch. And for batsmen it rewards attack (the ball hits the bat hard) but punishes defensive error (edges always carry to the fielders).

  • P.Balasubramaniam on January 7, 2010, 6:25 GMT

    Green top or rank turners is not the case.

    What i say is prepare a decent wicket which is 50:50 to bowlers as well as batsmen but leave it uncovered so that the wickets gets exposed to the vagaries of the weather for the, playing 5 days. This will bring forth the adaptability skills of both batsmen and bowlers.

  • Chinmay on January 7, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    "Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka and England have been playing exciting test cricket in the last year. Who are the party poopers?"

    I take it then you did not watch Sehwag single handedly destroy Sri Lanka with one of the most destructive innings ever seen in Test cricket?

  • Ashwath on January 7, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    Well nick that comment is extremely unfair. India played 6 tests last year and forced results in 3 of them. They could have forced a result in another test but for weather and they saved 2 tests from the brink of defeat. I agree that Indian wickets could be a little more "pace" bowler friendly and we certainly don't want to see more pitches like the one in ahmedabad against srilanka. But the brabone wicket was spectacular sri lanka batted decently to score 393 and lost only because of Virender Sehwag. The man is a spectacular batsman the likes of which cricket has never seen before. He is the one who makes cricket look dull with his bowler bashing T20 style.

  • VP on January 7, 2010, 2:08 GMT

    CricFan... I would've thought its pretty obvious.... A green top will get better on day 2-3.... but a pitch turning square on day 1 is only gonna get worse.

  • Matt B on January 7, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    They key to this match was the pitch prepared (or under-prepared as was widely reported) for this match. Back in 'the day' it was always tough for the first session or two, then it became good for batting. What we have seen in this test is a return to such a pitch. The weather over the preceding two days did not allow a full preparation of the pitch - which was the best thing that happened.

    Was saying at the beginning of the day that if Aus could post 150 lead they'd be in with a shot. How Hussey and Siddle were 'allowed' to post such a huge partnership is beyond me, but it made for an exciting finish eh?

    May test cricket be forever held up as the apex of the sport - there's nothing like it.

  • AM on January 6, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    I support Pakistan because that is the country of my birth. But after the recent spate of defeats by Pakistan in the last 3 series against Sri Lanka, New Zealand and now Australia, where Pakistan have snatched defeat from "the jaws of victory" and people praising test cricket for its uncertainties, I suggest that Pakistan be compensated for their efforts by the ICC. Pakistani cricketers by their performances and highly (predictable) unpredictable cricket are doing more than any other country to make test cricket very interesting. No other country can do it in such consistent fashion. For this reason they should be rewarded by the ICC "for their efforts" to keep interest in test cricket alive.

  • JimmyD on January 6, 2010, 23:17 GMT

    Thank god for test cricket!! T/20 has turned into nothing more than a backyard bash for viewers with a short attention span. It takes no courage, sacrifice, endurance or personality to play T20, or indeed discipline. The plus for Pakistan is that they can learn from this. They have an extremely impressive collection of young players to build a future with. Lets hope the Pakistani cricket board allow them to mature as players and not make kneejerk reactionary decisions for the last test.

  • Mahek on January 6, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    Yes Nick, because India doesn't stuff up the way these teams do. You want to fault our batsmen for not screwing up no matter what the conditions are, go ahead. I'll take them over the overrated Aussie batting any day.

    For those who think test cricket is in good health, let me tell you what I saw. Mitchell Johnson takes a brilliant catch to get rid of Umar Akmal. The background is that of empty seats. Cut to the forlorn figure of Umar Akmal walking back to the pavilion. What do you see in the background? Empty seats. You could play as exciting a game as possible but it doesn't count for anything if you can't get people to come to see the cricket.

  • irtaza on January 6, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    It is quite funny that the aussie bowlers could not take any wickets at all when the pitch was good for bowling but when it became better for batting their bowlers suddenly found the bat's edge. I think for Pakistan to win against this team, they would need an amazing bowling pitch on which Aussies would be very troubled however Pakistan batsmen won't be (These guys are really good at dodging the edge of the bat while the ball is doing something)

  • faisal on January 6, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    2 tied tests,6 tests in history where a team pull off after considering a lead over 200,and guess what aussies are there.As long as they are playing this true format of the game,there is no chance of death of test cricket.One question to all? How many postings a collum has recieved after an exciting t20,more than a test! I hope not because true lover of cricket will not do so

  • mayank on January 6, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    i just want to reply to cricfan.there is a false belief that by leaving grass on the pitch you are taking spinners out of the game.this is not true , ask any spinner he will prefer a bit of turn and more bounce to huge turn and lack of bounce.i have watched cricket for 15 years but i havent seen grass on scg track , it has always been a batting wicket assisting spinners on day 4 and 5.yhis was a great test match pitch offering fast bowlers help on day 1 ... good for batting on day 2 and 3 and a hauritz getting 5 and winning the game on day4.i am a huge fan of pakistan specially their fast bowling but i m hugely dissapointed today.they had aus on the mat for 3 days but lost it due to some ordinary captiancy and rubbish fielding . but i am also a test cricket fan and surely this is got to be one of the finest test match i have watched.after watching some boring crickrt in india s.l 'batting'series this one is a refreshing welcome.i eagerly wait for the australian summer .

  • raghav on January 6, 2010, 14:37 GMT

    Test cricket is certainly becoming a lot better in most of the countries except in pakistan,as Md Yousuf rightly said t20 has killed the test cricket in pakistan, today most of the pakistani batsmen were out trying to play aggressive shots including the pakistani captain himself,they did not have a plan and did not have the confidence in winning the match,i think the players must play more sensibly and the captain has to lead from front to set an example otherwise the result is going to be more disastrous for test cricket in pakistan.

  • Nick Hughes on January 6, 2010, 13:49 GMT

    Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka and England have been playing exciting test cricket in the last year. Who are the party poopers? The ones who have let their game grow dull and have been ringing the test match death bell? India. From world leaders in promoting 20/20 like no one else, they risk being outsiders whilst the other countries get on with playing thrilling tests.

  • Jeff Zielke on January 6, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    We keep hearing comments from "experts" concerned that test cricket is "dying". Surely these guys must be living under a rock and it's obvious they are clearly out of tune with the cricketing public. Comparing 20/20 cricket with test cricket is like comparing Maccas with a high class restaurant. No self respecting cricketer...not one....would consider himself as having truly "achieved" in cricket without having established himself in the test arena. 20/20 is fun but 40 overs of agricultural swiping is just "never" going to supercede "real" test cricket where over the scope of a five day match "all" players get an opportunity to display their skills or lack of. The numbers of people watching test cricket at the venues may well have declined but gee...you can bet Sydney (in this case) to a brick on that all proceedings are followed with fervour by an enormous number of cricket followers who constantly monitor a wide variety of cricket stats..much moreso 40 overs of "hit and giggle".

  • Tazveer on January 6, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    Ashwath, I couldn't agree with you more. I am so bitterly disappointed with Pakistan today. They have an abudance of talent in their team, more than enough to defeat any major test playing nation, yet they crumbled under Australian pressure like a stale cookie. If I were Pakistani I would be ashamed and I believe the team has shamed the former greats of Pakistani cricket with such a dismal display. I remember watching, Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Javed Miandad, Aamir Sohail and Saeed Anwar destroying any and all competition. I understand the team is young and inexperienced but there has to come a time when they must stand up and be counted. I Apologise for being so negative and critical but I have been backing this team and praying for someone to bring them back to the glory days or just winning ways for that matter. They cannot rely on Mohammad Yousef forever, someone, anyone, needs to support and assist him. Mike Smith

  • CricFan on January 6, 2010, 11:02 GMT

    Ok.So if its a green top and the batting team collapses, there's nothing wrong with the pitch.Its the batsman's fault. However, a pitch taking turn from the first day is deemed bad and the country gets flak for producing such pitches. Strange logic this !!!

  • P.Balasubramaniam on January 6, 2010, 10:53 GMT

    Test cricket will never die since it is skills pitted not chance pitted like T20, the current rage.

    Test matches will become all the more interesting if we go back to the days of uncovered wickets. If this happens we can see thro' the game of the current crop willow wielders.

    I wish ICC takes this up on an experimental basis for some time to truly understand the skill levels of all our batsmen who strut around like all conquering monarchs.

  • Vanjul Vinit on January 6, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    Good article... test cricket will always remain the real test... if anyone differs then please watch the 1st test between Aus&Eng of ashes last year...South Africa v England's 1st test of the ongoing series... n now this test between AusvPak... these teams will always keep test alive...

  • mayank on January 6, 2010, 9:32 GMT

    its been one great test match.credit goes to the curator for preparing what could be termed as the perfect track for test cricket and look what its given......a great test match.the curators back home in india should hold their heads in shame for preparing lifeless pitches.surely aus and s.a are the places where the best test cricket is played.and yes a great fightback by australia......long live test cricket.

  • Raf on January 6, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    A terrific day's cricket... glad it was this week, while I'm on holiday to enjoy it!

    There's plenty of sports out there for people who want a quick fix, but few if any other sports that can build the tension and drama for hours on end as Test cricket can. Thank the rain and the groundskeepers for pitches which aren't dull batting pitches... if something was killing Test cricket, it was administrators believing that people wanted to watch Test cricket just for the batting! Not hardly!

  • Derek D'Cruz on January 6, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    Is there any one who does not think this is the greatest game of all? How many thought Ricky Ponting stuffed up when he chose to bat? It aint over until its over and its over for Pakistan

  • Mudassar Rana on January 6, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    I cannot believe this at all the captain and the vice captain lost us the match! Great advert for test cricket but this should have been ours yesterday! Great catch from hauritz and excellent captaincy from ponting.

  • Glinn Mgraw on January 6, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    If we can get some more pitches like the SCG one around the world, then the spectacle of it all will return.

  • Praveen on January 6, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    The difference between the two teams were the wicketkeepers. Haddin was a safe pair of hands behind the wicket, while Kamran Akmal...

  • mayank on January 6, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    its been one great test match.credit goes to the curator for preparing what could be termed as the perfect track for test cricket and look what its given......a great test match.the curators back home in india should hold their heads in shame for preparing lifeless pitches.surely aus and s.a are the places where the best test cricket is played.and yes a great fightback by australia......long live test cricket.

  • Terry Jones on January 6, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    Aust vs Pak 2nd test was the most thrilling Aussie match that I had seen for a while. Winning had given the series to Aust and brought Aust one step closer to being #1 again. However, dispite the one-off thrill of a match, the question is what can cricket do to make all test matches thrilling? Answer: Turn test tours into a home & away world cup stage. Four stages: Y1 Group Stage = 4 groups of 5 teams (1 home & 1 away X 4 opponents). Y2-3 Super Eights = Top 8 teams (2 home & 2 away X 6 opponents). Y4 Semis = 3 tests (#1 home to #4, #2 home to #3). Y4 Final = 5 tests (w vs w in home of higher pts). Assocates & Affilites would have to play off to be one of the 20 group stage countries, which would give ALL cricket countries the chance of playing against the elite 8 teams in the world. Minnows would still be interesting as pts are used. Imagine the excitement of a 5 test series, 2 all, 5th test and your team comes from 200 runs behind to win the match, series and the TEST WORLD CUP.

  • pkfever on January 6, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    dead dsapointed fan of pakistan cricket team

  • Curtis on January 6, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    fantastic victory to the aussies, an exciting finish to a bizarre match.

  • Sid on January 6, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    The word was impossible, BTW.

  • hasan on January 6, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is responsible for pak's defeat. he also didn't do well with the bat. shame on Pakistan team and shame on kamran akmal

  • Steve on January 6, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    Wow what a test! Arrogance of Ponting batting first on a green top and paying the price, brilliant Pakistan batting, great come back by the 'under siege' Hussey, and the ever improving Hauritz running through 'Panic-stan' to take an improbable win. Give me Test Cricket any day of the week!!!

  • Steve on January 6, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    Wow what a test! Arrogance of Ponting batting first on a green top and paying the price, brilliant Pakistan batting, great come back by the 'under siege' Hussey, and the ever improving Hauritz running through 'Panic-stan' to take an improbable win. Give me Test Cricket any day of the week!!!

  • Gazza on January 6, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    Come on Aussies, what a win! A great test match there, swing both ways so many times, and came right down to the wire.

  • Tahir Raza on January 6, 2010, 6:40 GMT

    I write this comment with a heavy heart...A target of 176 could not be achieved by pakistani team on a still good test wicket on which Siddle no. 10 batsman scored 38 runs...one of his highest scores..Disappointing to see pakistani bastmen playing as if it was the last day of the test match...Yousuf/Umer/Kamran after settling down gifted their wickets to aussies..I am extremely disappointed as this was the easiest of the chances pakistan could have ever got to beat Aussies in their own backyard..Experienced batsmen did not take the responsibility and left it to lower middle order.....and they also failed...I would urge pakistan cricket board to immediately sack Misbah/Kamran Akmal/Faisal before 3rd test starts...Pakistan would have won on day-3 only but dropped catches by Kamran (the biggest culprit)...3 of them were of Hussey who ended up scoring 135 runs...Pakistan needs a solid wicket keeper..In comparison Haddin took fantastic catches and Australia took all of them..It is a Shame!!

  • Hammad on January 6, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    hugely disappointed..no words to say:(:(

  • Ashwath on January 6, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    The reason test cricket seemed dying in 2007 was because pakistan weren't playing enough. They snatch defeat from the jaws of defeat like nothing before. We need pakistan to play more for more results as well. I have never been as disappointed with pakistan cricket as i have been today.

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  • Ashwath on January 6, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    The reason test cricket seemed dying in 2007 was because pakistan weren't playing enough. They snatch defeat from the jaws of defeat like nothing before. We need pakistan to play more for more results as well. I have never been as disappointed with pakistan cricket as i have been today.

  • Hammad on January 6, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    hugely disappointed..no words to say:(:(

  • Tahir Raza on January 6, 2010, 6:40 GMT

    I write this comment with a heavy heart...A target of 176 could not be achieved by pakistani team on a still good test wicket on which Siddle no. 10 batsman scored 38 runs...one of his highest scores..Disappointing to see pakistani bastmen playing as if it was the last day of the test match...Yousuf/Umer/Kamran after settling down gifted their wickets to aussies..I am extremely disappointed as this was the easiest of the chances pakistan could have ever got to beat Aussies in their own backyard..Experienced batsmen did not take the responsibility and left it to lower middle order.....and they also failed...I would urge pakistan cricket board to immediately sack Misbah/Kamran Akmal/Faisal before 3rd test starts...Pakistan would have won on day-3 only but dropped catches by Kamran (the biggest culprit)...3 of them were of Hussey who ended up scoring 135 runs...Pakistan needs a solid wicket keeper..In comparison Haddin took fantastic catches and Australia took all of them..It is a Shame!!

  • Gazza on January 6, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    Come on Aussies, what a win! A great test match there, swing both ways so many times, and came right down to the wire.

  • Steve on January 6, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    Wow what a test! Arrogance of Ponting batting first on a green top and paying the price, brilliant Pakistan batting, great come back by the 'under siege' Hussey, and the ever improving Hauritz running through 'Panic-stan' to take an improbable win. Give me Test Cricket any day of the week!!!

  • Steve on January 6, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    Wow what a test! Arrogance of Ponting batting first on a green top and paying the price, brilliant Pakistan batting, great come back by the 'under siege' Hussey, and the ever improving Hauritz running through 'Panic-stan' to take an improbable win. Give me Test Cricket any day of the week!!!

  • hasan on January 6, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is responsible for pak's defeat. he also didn't do well with the bat. shame on Pakistan team and shame on kamran akmal

  • Sid on January 6, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    The word was impossible, BTW.

  • Curtis on January 6, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    fantastic victory to the aussies, an exciting finish to a bizarre match.

  • pkfever on January 6, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    dead dsapointed fan of pakistan cricket team