“But snatching a draw from the jaws of a certain defeat is something prolific and for England’s such a gallant effort, Test cricket’s flag is flying proudly. In that case, I wish to thank England for making Test cricket beautiful and exciting,” Writes Faisal Caesar 

 

So, what’s up?

Still, rejoicing India’s whitewash triumph over the pathetic Australians?

Still moved by Dhawan, Dhoni, Vijay, or Pujara’s batting expertise? Are you still wondering about how Ravindra Jadeja proved to be so sharp against the Australians?

Are you sad that the Australians are sliding downwards?

Surely, you expected that the Pakistanis will make the South Africans run for their money. They did have the charisma to do that.

But, the South Africans were much better!

Pakistan couldn’t match the might of South Africa.

Now there, Bangladesh had put up a spirited show against the Sri Lankans in the Test series. Some exciting talents from Bangladesh did catch your attention and you all fell in praising them. So many actions were going on. So many talents blazed and for which you had totally forgotten what was happening in Downunder. Did you even think of following the New Zealand vs England Test series? Did you forget about it? Right? Exactly you did forget.

Who will follow the New Zealand vs England Test series?

After the Kiwis dismal show in South Africa and the whole unit being in such a lean patch and not boasting with million-dollar babies, it’s obvious that you won’t be attracted to such a Test series. As because more than the cricketing aspects, it’s the glamorous stars and million-dollar babies that makes your perfect cricketing dish.

I think you are wrong!

Believe me, New Zealand and England gifted us one of the best of Test cricket in an era when you are ringing the death bell of Test cricket.

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Since the Test series between New Zealand and England had started, it did offer some scintillating performances. The first Test offered some wonderfully crafted hundred and an English fight back to save the day while the second Test too was heading towards a thrilling end until inclement weather interfered to spoil everything. Test matches at Dunedin and Christchurch offered wonderful batsmanship of Hamish Rutherford, Alastair Cook, Brendan McCullum, and some brilliant exhibition of nagging, incisive, and lethal swing bowling by Boult, Wagener, and Co.

The third Test at Auckland had been simply heart-stopping!

With New Zealand on top, dominating throughout the sessions, the majority of the spectators thought of one-way traffic. On the final day, England needed another 391 runs to win the series and they had just six wickets in hand.

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The English batters went defensive but the determined Kiwi bowlers were taking wickets at regular intervals and were all set to register their first win over England on their home soil since 1983-84. Matt Prior rose to the occasion with fluent strokes and it seemed he was fighting a losing battle. Prior registered a hundred but when James Andreson walked back towards the pavilion, New Zealand’s victory was a matter of time. 19 balls were remaining for the day and the Kiwis just needed one wicket to create history.

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Brendon McCullum tried all sorts of aggressive fielding to fetch the last wicket of Monty Panesar but Monty was an immovable object. He had put a price tag on his wicket. His negotiation of the impressive Trent Boult in the last over simply wrecked everyone’s nerves. From the brink of a definite defeat, England went on to draw the Test match. The final day had all the subjects for a cricket romanticist to essay a thrilling drama.

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Sadly, many didn’t witness this magical final day’s play. Many didn’t even bother to follow the Test series as well. But mind you, you have missed the beauty of Test cricket. The twists and turns of cricket can only be discovered in Test matches and not in modern day’s craze – T20 cricket. Auckland has given an answer to those who end up saying that Test cricket’s lifespan is shortening.

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Throughout the Auckland Test match, the Kiwis had been way better than England. According to many, they should have been worthy winners. But snatching a draw from the jaws of a certain defeat is something prolific and for England’s such a gallant effort, Test cricket’s flag is flying proudly. In that case, I wish to thank England for making Test cricket beautiful and exciting.