Citing examples of two contrasting yet thrilling matches on starsports.com, Mukul Kesavan compares Tests and ODIs with the help of the tri-series final between India and Sri Lanka and the first Ashes Test played at Trent Bridge. Even though both matches went down to the wire, why was the Test a better instance of a clash between the two teams' strengths? Kesavan also argues against the rationale behind the 10-overs quota rule for bowlers in ODIs and how it reduces the intensity in the shorter format.
The comparison is useful in two ways. First, it helps us appreciate the vintage pleasures of Test cricket at a time when our palates have been debased by a steady diet of limited-overs plonk. And second, it might help us reform the formulaic tedium of ODI cricket by incorporating into it the strengths of the long game.
Take the ten overs rule. It must have been designed to prevent selectors from packing teams with batsmen, but when you consider that Anderson nearly broke down after a dozen overs on the trot, it is hard to see a team taking the field with just two bowlers prepared to bowl twenty five overs apiece. Once we accept that every team will play three or four bowlers for its own good, what is the rationale for a rule that forces a team to use at least five bowlers because no bowler can bowl more than ten overs in an innings?