In the end, what all witnessed was the meek surrender to the power of cash that has gained its strength since it started and even before the tamasha commenced, the money power and autocratic nature of BCCI used to show its demonic face time and again since the mid-90s. It might not have been stronger in the past, but right now it is deadlier than a demon.
The beauty of Test cricket lies in its change of colours when two of the best teams of the format face each other. They don’t give up easily and continues to push their limits and make the contest a simmering one. India, despite being on the back foot, for most of the times at Oval, turned things around with the bat and ball to take a lead in the Test series.
After the defeat at Lord’s England regrouped and thrashed India at Leeds by inflicting an innings defeat. Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat on a deck that was still spongy and required application in the first couple of sessions, but England cast a spell of brilliant swing bowling that shot the visitors out for 78 – ultimately, India never recovered from that shock.
We Bangladeshis are addicted to dashing characters and usually don’t relishes the softer ones, no matter how much they are glorified – in the end, in our list of favourite personalities, the dashing heroes always win the race. Thus, people like Hall, Sobers, Dexter or Fazal had always been the fan favourite – my father loved Dexter and it seemed, his linking, somehow, represented the choice of the people of Bangladesh in the pre-independence period.
After a hard-fought and close contest in the first test, it is very easy to suffer from shortage of confidence in the upcoming Test at the same venue – Kingston, Jamaica. But, the cornered Tigers of subcontinent decided to regroup and give their very best. A full day was washed out and in such cases, a draw is always a likely outcome, but the cornered Tigers gelled together and played as a unit until victory was ensured. The clinical Pakistani team bounced back and leveled the series in style.
After the epic Test match at Jamaica, there was no time to catch a breath because, by the time you woke up after sleeping late at night, Lord’s was buzzing and inviting each and every cricket fan for a final day full of drama. At one point, you might have assumed, it was heading towards a draw, rather, it ended up with an epic Indian victory.
Two of the most colourful and dramatic teams in world cricket logged horns at Kingston, Jamaica for the Test and it turned out to be a remarkable one. Each chapter of the book consisted of twists and turn and as the book was nearing an end, the final chapter kept the readers on the edge. Jamaica would have made many of the fans nostalgic who grew up watching that a Test match between West Indies and Pakistan would always be a nail-biting thriller. Magnetism has not waned till now.
On the final day, England needed to defend their total with Chetehswar Pujara and Rohit Sharma at the crease and some world-class batsmen waiting in the dressing room to push for the win, the first Test at Trent Bridge was beautifully poised for a great finish. Anything could have happened on a final deck that gave evidence of bounce and movement – sadly, it was the inclement weather that won the battle in the end.
Brendan Taylor’s flamboyance and the defiant resistance of Kaitano should inspire Zimbabwe to progress.
The second Test started with the hope that there would be some contest because this West Indies unit have displayed their fighting qualities before, rather, it ended up in favour of South Africa, who thrashed the home side and...
Mark Wood bowled the fifth ball of the eleventh over of the second innings of New Zealand and the stand-in-captain Tom Latham dispatched the short of a length delivery towards the third man by opening the full face of the bat for a boundary and earn the Test and series-winning runs. That one hit not only ensured the series victory in England for the Kiwis since 1999 but elevated them to the number 1 rank in the ICC Test ranking and they are the number 1 side in the ODI as well.
People have almost forgotten when the last time West Indies and South Africa played a Test series. Indeed, for a brief period, neither West Indies nor South Africa logged horns in a Test series – but thankfully, the Test series resumed this month and at Gros Islet, West Indies were totally botched by the visitors within three days.
When rain spoiled the third day of the first Test at Lord’s, a draw was always on the cards, but the matter of interest was how the Test would end – whether it would witness all four innings played or not. In the end, all four innings were played, courtesy of a bold declaration by Kane Williamson on the final day giving England 273 to win from the 75 overs.
If Zimbabwe can help Pakistan bring back cricket at their home then why can’t Pakistan lend a helping hand towards them? If one cites their political matters then the political scenario of Afghanistan is not bright as well, but their cricket is not stagnant. Keeping that in mind, Zimbabwe deserve the help of nations like Pakistan and others for progress.
The Bangladeshi humiliation is not surprising at all as soon as the Pallekele track started to change its nature from the second day because the batters more often relish dead decks and not those which test their technique and temperament.
Cricket has lost Kenya because of the lack of attention and support it deserved, whereas, despite the setbacks, Zimbabwe are still around in the Test arena; trying hard to win the attention of the big guns that they deserve to play more Test matches against the top sides and if given such an opportunity they would not waste it like others – rather – exploit it to become better.
Sri Lanka has a history of producing some of the death decks ever but in the meantime, they produced some of the testing decks as well which offered some outstanding Test matches. The batsmen are needed to be tested and as usual, only then a contest would become fascinating. Surely, Sri Lanka would not disappoint in the second Test.
In the end, the second Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka at North Sound witnessed no results. But there were plenty of positives to take from the series for both sides. Sri Lanka, recently, have been in a slump in white clothes whereas, the West Indies have been more about just Twenty20-performers. Thankfully, in this Test series, both teams raised the hopes of improvements in the 5-day format in the coming days.
From 169 to 476 had been a huge improvement and a morale-boosting one, and the same old thing can be stated about faring well – keep the basics right, the success would come and never lose the fighting spirit. The West Indians followed the same and in the end, it turned out to be a very enjoyable Test match.