Recently there has been lot of contemplations on Test cricket, while experts have suggested a number of changes, which they argue, would make it better. Moreover, Test cricket has been losing massive fans as newer formats such as T20 is gaining massive popularity. T20 and Test matches are like opposite poles of cricket, owning to their differences of length and duration of matches. While, one is short with limited twenty overs, the other is expanded over five days with practically no limits on overs. Viewers mostly dissent the length and unending overs in test match. T20 matches, on the other hand, are exciting as players need to scale up their performance to be on tandem with the limited 20 overs. Test cricket is rarely with such level of excitement as players have unlimited overs to perform.
Even if Test cricket is labeled as an unpopular format of cricket, it still has massive relevancy in the sport. In fact, it can be argued that Test cricket is more about players or the inner circle of performers in cricket rather than viewers, fans or critics, who can be posed as the “outer” circle. There are several reasons for this. First, test cricket is dull with rare shots and thrilling action. Therefore, spectators cannot get more out of it as they are offered by that of ODIs and T20s. Secondly, Test cricket is important for players because it provides unlimited opportunities for real time performance against their counterparts. It is important for players to keep up with Test cricket because it simulates their skills.
Test cricket is of much importance to players. In these matches, teams are allowed to perform unrestricted. Batting style, invention of a new shot, learning a new technique to ball -- all needs considerable amount of practice. Form this point of view, it can be aligned with a form of practice where cricketers are fitted with the adequate ambiance of real confrontation. While in ODI and T20, restricted overs do not allow players to experiment their styles and techniques, Test cricket offers them maximum room to play at their will. The pressure of limited time or overs is not present in Test Cricket. In Test, batmen has unending balls to practice their techniques in real time condition, while bowlers has batsman to experiment their techniques. However, the moniker of being an Experiment Game is not quite accurate because it is, by far, not a net practice.
There has been many suggestions by both cricket experts and “non-expert” critics of cricket to enliven test cricket. Most of them puts their arguments from the perspectives of players. The comparison of the format with T20 is the upfront topic. But, it should be comprehended that the motive of both the formats is quite different. T20 was brought to make cricket more attractive to viewers by turning the game shorter. In contrast, Test cricket are meant to offer players maximum leverage to display their skills. It can be considered as the rough and rugged form of cricket which is of course, not fit for entertainment purpose.
Many players have expressed their concerns on decreasing popularity of test cricket. However, the worries over popularity is not important because cricketers has much scope to earn limelight as long as they perform. Moreover, formats like T20 have added to the popularity of cricket. Players should consider Test cricket as an internal affair in the sports viewing it as the opportunities to practice their innovations, leaving aside what viewers speak of. Test cricket must remain as one of the stringent aspects of the sports irrespective of its want of its popularity or unpopularity.
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