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Two, very interesting test-match finishes: 5-day games are back!

It has taken a sustained show of good test matches on our TVs over the last month or so, to ensure that viewer interest in the longer format of the game has been rekindled, to a certain extent. The third test match between WI and Australia has had a very familiar ending with the Aussies being able to beat the islanders very comfortably along with displaying their typical over-the-top, 'backyard' gestures that we have all gotten used to by now.
However, it was heartening to see the last pair, numbers 10 & 11 bat so spiritedly from the West Indies camp. This is something you don’t get to see too often and lower-order batsmen from the Windies are regarded as easy rollovers. On the other hand, the South Africa versus England test match was probably the most engaging piece of cricket being broadcasted last week. The fact that the match made it to the last ball of the match is ample testament to the fact that when played on the right kind of surfaces there are many takers for test matches even in this T20-obsessed cricketing generation. Further, there are more potentially interesting test match games coming-up with the impending Pakistan tour of Australia 2010 and the second test match between South Africa – England. I personally believe that the contest in South Africa if fairly even between the two sides and every match will produce results. The two teams are so similar-looking that it is hard to choose a favourite at this time.

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