July 19, 2009

The 6th and 7th Day of a test match.

In times when a 5 day test is like four days and 50 overs too many, appears I’m getting ahead of myself with the idea of a 6th and 7th day test. It’s like this: I wake up late Sunday morning thinking about poor England, and how it could possibly rain on their Lord’s dreams – if they haven’t won a test versus Australia in more than 70 years here, you think much is going to change in the next two days?

The fickle English weather has reared its ugly head through the series – only last night, on the 2nd evening again. Looks like the weather will mess with England again – we’re talking 6 sessions now, but that could quite easily become 4, at best 4 ½. Of course, on the face of it, surviving 4 should be easier than 6, but if the rains are sporadic, they could mess with Australia too – on and off, and here you again, on and off again.

Not that easy to concentrate, is it? Take your guard again. Put your thinking helmet on again. Loosen those legs again. Get warmed up again. As for England, the timing of the rains could be a heaven-sent, esp. for Freddie Flintoff. He could bowl a few, and then retire to his chambers. And then blast away a few and go drink a Mojito.

But let’s look at the not so romantic – if the test is washed out, and the result is a no-result. So we had five days, and it just didn’t quite work out, did it? I suggest in such cases, the match referee along with the umpires work out a solution – work for a result by compensating for time lost to the weather. So if we lose 40 overs in the first 5 days, let them make them up on a 6thday. But only do so, if they are convinced of a result.

Which takes us back to the 1st test at Cardiff – where we lost more than a few overs to the weather – and we were that close to a result? Bring on the 6th day.

Of course, you can argue, what if more than 90 overs are lost, do we bring on the 7th day – say, in a scenario where both teams are dismissed cheaply, but even six days cannot force a result. More than likely in the ongoing West Indies-Bangladesh test series. Where runs are at a premium and the two teams are highly discounted. I’d be forced to say, in this case make the test a 3 day game, and Lord have mercy – but 7 days is a tad too much, isn’t it? Or is it?

For heaven’s sake, it’s a whole week. And when you say 6 days, it’s still 6 days and not a week. They were playing from Friday the 6th to Friday the 13th. That’s all test cricket needs. So I’ll pass on the 7th day.

But here, when the laggards England, are on to something highly unlikely, I wish them good weather, and a real push at Oz. And if the Aussies overhaul 500, so be it. It is England they are playing, after all.

If you care for test cricket, and think the Ashes are still something special, you need to take a look at the Border Gavaskar trophy – let’s make it the Mother of all test series. Let’s make it Teri 'Marquee' series! Swing by Bored Cricket Crazy Indians (BCC!) – and show you give a damn. It’s a start. At keeping the end away – test cricket is dead, long live Teri Maa Ki!

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