South Africa v Australia, 2nd Test, Johannesburg, 4th day November 20, 2011

The best of Test cricket

Whether Ricky Ponting crafts a victory for Australia or South Africa record a landmark win, this match is a tribute to the longest format of cricket
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There is a reason crime series television will never go out of fashion. Besides the car-crash curiosity of human nature, that wants to peek at other's offences without being part of them, the suspense, intrigue and mystery is what makes the shows watchable. What makes them successful, though, is the way suspense hangs thick in the air, subplots create violent twists around unseen corners and anticipation builds to a crescendo.

The same applies to absorbing Test cricket. When played between two, equally matched and competitive sides in conditions that encourage a genuine contest between bat and ball, the intricacies and beauties of the game unfold like a flower in the springtime.

South Africa and Australia have produced many such gripping contests in summers past. In 1952-53, an under-rated South Africa travelled to Australia and drew a four-Test series when no-one though they would come away unscarred. In 1993-94, in another drawn series, South Africa recorded a memorable win in Sydney, with Fanie de Villiers and Allan Donald the architects of an unlikely triumph. In 2008-09 in Perth and Melbourne, South Africa made history on two counts: chasing down a mammoth 414 and beating Australia for the first time away from home.

Apart from the 1969-70 clean sweep, Australia have dominated South Africa at home, until now, with South Africa one day away from getting their own back. They will have to bowl with discipline, which has evaded them at times, and with consistency that has played hide and seek so far. Even if South Africa are not able to close out the series, they should be able to take pride out of the intensity of the mini-battles and the quality of cricket they produced.

Russell Domingo, South Africa's assistant coach, pointed out at the end of the third day's play that "many matches are decided on what happens in the third innings", and he may be proven right. South Africa's day started with Hashim Amla 11 runs short of a century and AB de Villiers at the other end, well set and poised to go on to something bigger.

What played out in the 168 minutes after that was a cricket-lover's dream. Under cloudy skies 18-year-old Pat Cummins, whose smile only disappears when he steps onto a cricket field, ran in like he knew exactly what to bowl. Shane Watson said that Cummins' cricketing instincts are remarkable for someone of his age and it showed when he set Jacques Kallis up on the third day.

On Sunday morning, it was the turn of de Villiers, who Cummins was drawing into the drive. As soon as Cummins got the length right, de Villiers poked at the ball awkwardly and sent a high catch Michael Clarke's way.

The partnership was broken but Amla needs more than a fractured stand to rattle his nerves. He saw off Cummins to reach his second century of the series, a knock of such self-assuredness that it could stand as an example of how a Test innings should be played.

In a complete turnaround, however, Amla did not continue is such sagely fashion. Three balls after completing his ton, he was involved in the moment of madness of the match. He stuttered in his run and Ashwell Prince was forced to sacrifice himself. It was the only run-out in the series, so far.

Mark Boucher, much like Ricky Ponting, is at the stage where every innings is considered potentially career-ending. He did himself no favours after failing to lead the tail for the second time in the match. His top-edge in the first innings came at the height of South Africa's collapse, but the way in which he was deceived by Nathan Lyon's flight in the second innings was more concerning. Although South Africa have not groomed a wicketkeeper to replace Boucher at Test level, the need for them to start the process becomes more pressing with each match. Boucher's non-performance with the bat in this series is a further illustration of that.

Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn flew the flag for fast bowlers who believe that they can contribute with the bat. Both have hard-hitting skills that should be nurtured, and their 48-run partnership could still prove to be the crucial contribution in South Africa's second innings.

With tension governing the morning session, what happened after lunch was a release. Cummins ripped through Philander and Morne Morkel, before Steyn executed his own brand of aggression, protecting Imran Tahir from the strike and lashing out when appropriate. Quick bowlers of Cummins' quality are as valuable as a spotting of a leopard in the wild and to see the teenager marry pace and control in the way that he did bodes well for the future of Australian fast bowling.

While Cummins relied on pace and bounce, Vernon Philander used length, accuracy, and seam movement to rock Australia with a double-strike early in their chase. His punctures brought to the crease a legend facing a burden like no other. Ponting had been given the perfect stage to redeem himself and, so far, with an unbeaten half-century he is close to doing so, even if he bows out of the game at the end of this match.

Ponting's sincerity in passing on some of what he has learned to Australia's younger lot is evident. In Potchefstroom, during Australia's tour match against South Africa A, Ponting was spotted at a restaurant joking with Usman Khawaja, the man with whom he shared a crucial partnership with today, and in deep conversation with Shane Watson, long after the rest of the squad had left. With both Khawaja and Watson, his commitment to Australian cricket was in full view.

Ponting now has the opportunity to assert himself once more, with the end beckoning. South Africa have the opportunity to break the shackles of years of Australian dominance. Whether Ponting crafts a win, or South Africa steal it from under him, the anticipation of a memorable Test is almost guaranteed to be met. The intrigue of the oldest form of the game should burn brighter at its conclusion.

Hashim Amla put it best when he said, "The purists of the game would have enjoyed the challenge and the delicate nature of how thin the game has been," Amla said. "Both the Newlands Test and this one have been good adverts for Test cricket in different ways."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on November 22, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    @RandyOZ - Mate, Pup has now got 2 x 100s in his last 5 test innings, at 1 every 2.5 innings, The Don averaged 1 in 3. He won't be scoring 100s everytime, he was Oz's top runs scorer in the series. As for in SL, yes Hughes played a top knock - however, the match was definately on the line with a few quick wickets & SL could of been chasing a gettable score. Pup's confident batting eventually took the game away from SL & gave Oz half a thought about going for a victory.

  • Meety on November 22, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    @Marcio - 9/21 (47) - means that some tough love must occur & the NZ series is a perfect time for it.

  • Rajesh. on November 21, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    Test Cricket is alive & kicking but what a pity that such good advertisement for the 5-Day game was a ridiculous 2-Test series !!

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant game of cricket! As a purist of the game (i'm 30 btw) this was the best advertisement for Test Match Cricket there can be. The fightback after being bowled out for 47 and subsequently taking 1 for 200 odd.

    Patrick Cummins is a real find for Australia as is Phiilander for SA. Long live Test Cricket!

  • on November 21, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    I love test Cricket..This game could have gone both ways..Good win Australia, Hard Luck S.A...

  • on November 21, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    Quick everyone lets all say Ponting is back in form

  • on November 21, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    Very disappointed with only 2 tests in this fantastic series. 2 tests are not good enough. I wish ICC should have made this a 5 test series. Matches like these will keep tests alive. Good win for Australia even though they scrapped through barely. Like to see these kind of sporting pitches on subcontinent also.(I know I am day dreaming)

  • Marcio on November 21, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    Sorry, make that 5/8 games, counting the mid-tour game vs SA A-team.

  • on November 21, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    A superb test match.Was left biting my nails till the end of the game.Congrats to Aussies for the win.1-1 seems a befitting result.Pity this series was relegated to the status of a "compensation series" by both boards.2 tests is not enough,3 would have been ideal.

  • on November 21, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    Chokers!!! once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against australia. Whenever South Africans see Australians, no matter how strong or weak they are they will choke to death against them at crucial points.

  • Meety on November 22, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    @RandyOZ - Mate, Pup has now got 2 x 100s in his last 5 test innings, at 1 every 2.5 innings, The Don averaged 1 in 3. He won't be scoring 100s everytime, he was Oz's top runs scorer in the series. As for in SL, yes Hughes played a top knock - however, the match was definately on the line with a few quick wickets & SL could of been chasing a gettable score. Pup's confident batting eventually took the game away from SL & gave Oz half a thought about going for a victory.

  • Meety on November 22, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    @Marcio - 9/21 (47) - means that some tough love must occur & the NZ series is a perfect time for it.

  • Rajesh. on November 21, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    Test Cricket is alive & kicking but what a pity that such good advertisement for the 5-Day game was a ridiculous 2-Test series !!

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant game of cricket! As a purist of the game (i'm 30 btw) this was the best advertisement for Test Match Cricket there can be. The fightback after being bowled out for 47 and subsequently taking 1 for 200 odd.

    Patrick Cummins is a real find for Australia as is Phiilander for SA. Long live Test Cricket!

  • on November 21, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    I love test Cricket..This game could have gone both ways..Good win Australia, Hard Luck S.A...

  • on November 21, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    Quick everyone lets all say Ponting is back in form

  • on November 21, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    Very disappointed with only 2 tests in this fantastic series. 2 tests are not good enough. I wish ICC should have made this a 5 test series. Matches like these will keep tests alive. Good win for Australia even though they scrapped through barely. Like to see these kind of sporting pitches on subcontinent also.(I know I am day dreaming)

  • Marcio on November 21, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    Sorry, make that 5/8 games, counting the mid-tour game vs SA A-team.

  • on November 21, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    A superb test match.Was left biting my nails till the end of the game.Congrats to Aussies for the win.1-1 seems a befitting result.Pity this series was relegated to the status of a "compensation series" by both boards.2 tests is not enough,3 would have been ideal.

  • on November 21, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    Chokers!!! once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against australia. Whenever South Africans see Australians, no matter how strong or weak they are they will choke to death against them at crucial points.

  • Marcio on November 21, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    What a fantastic game of cricket! Stayed up till late to watch the end. Congrats to both teams for a superb effort. I'd just like to say 'told ya so' to all those bashers who knocked AUS after the last game, when I said a bad 24 hours does not define the team, nor the tour. AUS won 5/7 games on this tour. Now go back and look at all the nonsense about how terrible the team is, written after the last game. No sense of perspective at all. And great to see Haddin and Johnson finally do something, not to mention the great innings from Punter. Feel a bit sorry for Johnson, as he has had a terrible series with the ball, and probably won't play again.

  • on November 21, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    Who wants 3 more tests? I know I do.

  • on November 21, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    I think Aus can still win this, Mitchell Johnson and Haddin partnership is crucial to Aus and the careers of Haddin and Johnson, SA will get worried with every run scored

  • jonesy2 on November 21, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    lol at comparing bouchers situation to pontings.

  • S.Jagernath on November 21, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    The cricket has been exciting mainly due to brilliant groundsmanship and high quality bowling from the South Africans.Just wish it could have been a 5-Test series.

  • RandyOZ on November 21, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    I am again left questioning Clarke. 15 total in his last 3 innings after semmingly getting over his complete inability to handle pressure, with a fantastic 151. 2 centuries in his past 28 innings, including one completely void of pressure due to a sensational innings by Hughes. Add to this averaging 21 in the Ashes. Remind me why this guy is in the team? Oh yeh he's a sheletered player along with Johnson, Ponting, North, Haddin, Smith, etc. Why do we have so many immune players? A complete lack of results is obviously not the way to get dumped. Shouldn't the examples of Hayden and Langer, getting dumped, refining their art and then dominating, count for anything? What has happen since the Argus review? I am not seeing a hell of a lot of change.

  • Smithie on November 21, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    ICC, BCCI ( including Gavaskar and Shastri), Dhoni, Sachin and Indian cricket fans hopefully have all taken note of the positive influence FULL DRS has had on this fine series. As Tony Greig noted the other day "it is time to join the 21 st Century". There is still time to agree for DRS use in the series against Australia. Remember all the fans will be seeing full DRS on their Channel Nine screens anyway so if BCCI maintain their current stance there is scope for considerable loss of face. Fingers crossed India Australia replicates the current Sth Africa encounter for absorbing (controversy free) Test match cricket.

  • Muyeen on November 21, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    test cricket is truly alive when one cannot watch the match or get updates from internet and tries in a different to get an update on the score,particularly if his home team is not involved.. iam an Indian and iam loving this series... since it is only 2 test series we are disappointed and craving for more.. hope SA and AUS always have similar teams and similar conditions so that we get similar contest always!!!

  • mak102480 on November 21, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    hmmm...why so much hype around two mediocre test teams?

  • Srini_Indian on November 21, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    I don't know what is so special about Australia vs SA? Sure, the cricket is interesting to watch, but is it a quality cricket? No, 96 all out, 21/9 on a pitch which is doing just enough unlike last year against India when the pitch did a lot, is bad batting. On a placid Jo-berg pitch Sa bowled out for 260 odd when 241/4 is surely a poor batting. Aussies didn't do better either. The collapse from both sides made it interesting, that's all it is. SA barely managed to buy a series win against Australia, still haven't beaten Australia in home since re-admission, only 1 series win in Australia shows its pretty much one-sided with Australia taking the series almost everytime other than an odd drawn series.

  • Scorp on November 21, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Guess this is the umpteenth comment abt WHY THIS SERIES (if u can call it that) HAS JUST 2 TESTS?? Right from Day 1 of the 1st Test, the pitch, the bowlers, the batsmen, the fielders, the umpires and the DRS... have provided what cricket needs... High Quality Performance... and thats what makes the game swing from one way to the other.. Ponting (unfortunately booed by an otherwise Fab Saffi crowd) will always stand out as an all-time great and a Grit to match.. he is showing what made him a vital cog in the Aussie Invincible Team of the 90's and early 2000.. awaiting his innings and the fitting end to this fab contest.. Let the best team take the honours !!!

  • SunAndSea on November 21, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    The Proteas should win this series, and quite rightly so. But that shouldn't mask certain problems. The batting is quite fragile, especially the middle order, with an alarming tendency to collapse even when in strong positions. Jacques Kallis' bowling seems to relieve pressure on the opposing batsman, rather than maintaining it. As a wicketkeeper, Mark Boucher is a legend, but his batting in pressure situations needs to improve. Quickly.

  • on November 21, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    Man, these Aussies are fighters, I would have loved a relaxing day watching cricket but the old Aussie "in your face" attitude seems to never die. T20 cricket is a curse and illustrates the "instant coffee" culture of our society. Next to a good test, all these other versions of cricket are like a crappy hotdog compared to a good Sunday roast with all the trimmings. Come SA lets make some history, you will not get many chances.

  • Doogius on November 21, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    And not one mention in this article to the curators. Having two competitive teams is 1 thing, but they need the pitch to come to the party. Full kudos to both curators = damn fine pitches = something for both teams and all bowlers. And for the haters saying what about the 1st test, Clarke did make 150 on day 1 so you could definitely bat on it...

  • satish619chandar on November 21, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    Best indeed!! Loved the series.. Had enough twists and turns.. Hope it doesn't end one sided as the first test..

  • on November 21, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    How anyone is calling this a 'great test series' is beyond me. It's been poor, in terms of quality, and has been a contest to see who can outdo whom in terms of mental weakness.

    Some of the collapses in this series (most notably Australia's in the first test, probably the worst batting performance in the history of test cricket) have been an embarrassment, and testament to two mentally fragile teams who don't have the guts for a fight or to play strong, grafting test-match cricket.

    I'm actually glad it's only two tests' long. It hasn't been an ingratiating display by either side.

  • RajitD on November 21, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    Mouthwatering match! Cant wait for it to start! Really looking forward to Punter doing it for the Aussies!

  • Stevo_ on November 21, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    You can blame the South African board for 2 tests , not the ICC or Cricket Australia. They could have had at leaswt 3 tests, there was a huge gap betweens the ODI's, so not sure what they were doing. They were firmly against 3 tests though, which is a shame - looks like South Africa is another country where tests will now be the tertiary option - which is a bloody shame

  • vatsap on November 21, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    Bloody shame to have 2 Tests, like most fans have bemoaned. What a series this has turned out to be, much as I would like Ponting to get out and Aussies lose, I think Aussies will wrap this up comfortably and that would be a fair result. Zimbabwe and NZ recently played out a thriller, although both are bottom ranked teams, it was still a last session heart breaker. Administrators wake up.

  • harshthakor on November 21, 2011, 3:47 GMT

    So far one of the best games of test Cricket I have witnessed on one of the most sporting tracks.The pendulum kept swing one way then another.A victory for test Cricket which proves the superiority of the five day game.

  • on November 21, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    Well if it goes to 1-1 we will be in for a gripping decider. Or at least we would be if it was not a 2 match "series".

  • Mary_786 on November 21, 2011, 3:11 GMT

    Well played Khawaja and ponting, Khawaja in particular shows that Australian batting is in safe hands for the next 10 years. Khawaja had to go against some very tough bowling in tough conditions something Hughes and Watson were not able to survive.

  • zenboomerang on November 21, 2011, 2:32 GMT

    There isn't any result or history in a lollypop Test series... 2 Tests?... You have to be joking... All series should be a minimum of 3 against teams outside the top 6... & 4 or 5 Tests against the top ranked countries... This whole tour has been a joke & wasted all serious cricket fans from both nations of a true combative series... Shame on cricket boards & their wasted time scheduling & political bantering...

  • on November 21, 2011, 1:36 GMT

    Why only 2 Tests?? That's not a series, that's a joke. Never again, I don't care who's playing, if it's Test cricket make it at least 3 matches.

    PS - As much as I agree with ElPhenomeno's comments about Test cricket often needing some context (roll on the World Test Championship!). I take serious issue with you on the 'younger generation' not seeing beyond T20. Have you spoken to every young cricket fan? Did you not see the thousands of young people crammed into grounds across England during the India series, or making the MCG rock during the Ashes? Nothing can exceed the experience of watching Laxman and Dravid in Kolkata, or Shane Warne working a batsman over, or Sehwag redefining the role of the opener - or the Barmy Army out-shouting the whole MCG at the Boxing Day Test. To anyone of ANY age who seriously cares about cricket, Test cricket is the supreme form of the game, maybe the supreme examination of skill and character in all sport.

  • dsig3 on November 21, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    SA have really put together some fantastic wickets. Dare I say they are even better than our Aussie wickets. Bowlers are always in the game and you have to bat well to make runs. There are no demons in the wicket but if you hit the seam things happen which is the whole idea anyway.

  • Meety on November 20, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    Very good match - shows what happens when pitches give the bowlers a little bit of help & then the bowlers execute their plans fairly well! Good series - hoping it'll be one all!

  • Number_5 on November 20, 2011, 23:10 GMT

    As an Aussie touring NZ on holiday and only able to read the results each morning due to poor internet coverage its heartbreaking not being able to see the conclusion of this great series. The silky shotmaking of Alma, Steyn's skill with the ball, the soap opera that is punters (and haddin?) last days (?), the rise and rise of young Cummings....this will teach me to allow the wife to book holidays when test matches are being played and especially to a place where i cant get any coverage..maybe that was her plan in the first place. I only hope the Indian series this summer provides as much entertainment and is played in the same good spirit. I still give India the edge but there could be a glimmer of hope if Punter and Pup can see out the first hour. Test cricket, cant beat it.

  • redneck on November 20, 2011, 23:03 GMT

    great test, great series! would love a third though!!! this wont be punters last test, if anyone deserves a home send off its punter! i hope he atleast goes round the country for one more summer atleast! who knows this could be a start of a purple patch for punter and those 2013 ashes he so longs to win might be within reach??? also i dont think its coincidence that khawaja finally made a score after a few tests of returning nothing only when finally partnering punter. this aussie team needs rickys level head!!! and this series has shown his fielding is as good as its ever been and he is clearly the father figure in the team. there is no way pontings last test at home should be that injury in that boxing day mauling last year, he deserves the steve waugh send off!!! not a mark waugh one!

  • mak102480 on November 20, 2011, 22:25 GMT

    so much hype about two mediocre teams...

  • teo. on November 20, 2011, 22:03 GMT

    great article, great "series."

  • Dr.Vindaloo on November 20, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    Putting these two teams in green and yellow pyjamas and making them play ODI cricket is like making bears dance at the circus. Long live test cricket.

  • ElPhenomeno on November 20, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    Unfortunately I think test cricket will remain just that, a purist's delight. The younger generation can neither see beyond the glitz and glamour of T20, nor they want to. In my ideal world, they would shut down the T20 stuff, minimize ODIs to only meaningful contests and schedule tests for competitive teams in a format whose outcome will dictate the best test cricket team, not just bilateral series. Sure watching SA play Aus in tests is fun, but what is the context? Unfortunately, cricket is "competitively" played by such small number of teams teams its just not economically viable.

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  • ElPhenomeno on November 20, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    Unfortunately I think test cricket will remain just that, a purist's delight. The younger generation can neither see beyond the glitz and glamour of T20, nor they want to. In my ideal world, they would shut down the T20 stuff, minimize ODIs to only meaningful contests and schedule tests for competitive teams in a format whose outcome will dictate the best test cricket team, not just bilateral series. Sure watching SA play Aus in tests is fun, but what is the context? Unfortunately, cricket is "competitively" played by such small number of teams teams its just not economically viable.

  • Dr.Vindaloo on November 20, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    Putting these two teams in green and yellow pyjamas and making them play ODI cricket is like making bears dance at the circus. Long live test cricket.

  • teo. on November 20, 2011, 22:03 GMT

    great article, great "series."

  • mak102480 on November 20, 2011, 22:25 GMT

    so much hype about two mediocre teams...

  • redneck on November 20, 2011, 23:03 GMT

    great test, great series! would love a third though!!! this wont be punters last test, if anyone deserves a home send off its punter! i hope he atleast goes round the country for one more summer atleast! who knows this could be a start of a purple patch for punter and those 2013 ashes he so longs to win might be within reach??? also i dont think its coincidence that khawaja finally made a score after a few tests of returning nothing only when finally partnering punter. this aussie team needs rickys level head!!! and this series has shown his fielding is as good as its ever been and he is clearly the father figure in the team. there is no way pontings last test at home should be that injury in that boxing day mauling last year, he deserves the steve waugh send off!!! not a mark waugh one!

  • Number_5 on November 20, 2011, 23:10 GMT

    As an Aussie touring NZ on holiday and only able to read the results each morning due to poor internet coverage its heartbreaking not being able to see the conclusion of this great series. The silky shotmaking of Alma, Steyn's skill with the ball, the soap opera that is punters (and haddin?) last days (?), the rise and rise of young Cummings....this will teach me to allow the wife to book holidays when test matches are being played and especially to a place where i cant get any coverage..maybe that was her plan in the first place. I only hope the Indian series this summer provides as much entertainment and is played in the same good spirit. I still give India the edge but there could be a glimmer of hope if Punter and Pup can see out the first hour. Test cricket, cant beat it.

  • Meety on November 20, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    Very good match - shows what happens when pitches give the bowlers a little bit of help & then the bowlers execute their plans fairly well! Good series - hoping it'll be one all!

  • dsig3 on November 21, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    SA have really put together some fantastic wickets. Dare I say they are even better than our Aussie wickets. Bowlers are always in the game and you have to bat well to make runs. There are no demons in the wicket but if you hit the seam things happen which is the whole idea anyway.

  • on November 21, 2011, 1:36 GMT

    Why only 2 Tests?? That's not a series, that's a joke. Never again, I don't care who's playing, if it's Test cricket make it at least 3 matches.

    PS - As much as I agree with ElPhenomeno's comments about Test cricket often needing some context (roll on the World Test Championship!). I take serious issue with you on the 'younger generation' not seeing beyond T20. Have you spoken to every young cricket fan? Did you not see the thousands of young people crammed into grounds across England during the India series, or making the MCG rock during the Ashes? Nothing can exceed the experience of watching Laxman and Dravid in Kolkata, or Shane Warne working a batsman over, or Sehwag redefining the role of the opener - or the Barmy Army out-shouting the whole MCG at the Boxing Day Test. To anyone of ANY age who seriously cares about cricket, Test cricket is the supreme form of the game, maybe the supreme examination of skill and character in all sport.

  • zenboomerang on November 21, 2011, 2:32 GMT

    There isn't any result or history in a lollypop Test series... 2 Tests?... You have to be joking... All series should be a minimum of 3 against teams outside the top 6... & 4 or 5 Tests against the top ranked countries... This whole tour has been a joke & wasted all serious cricket fans from both nations of a true combative series... Shame on cricket boards & their wasted time scheduling & political bantering...