After a nail-biting affair against Australia and a dismal show against England; South Africa and West Indies would look to put up a commendable effort and keep their hopes alive in a tough group while Pakistan would be looking to give New Zealand a fitting reply.
At Sharjah Bangladesh put up a fighting total, still, the Sri Lankans steered home courtesy of a brilliant fightback from Charith Asalanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa.
It’s not just a tour cancellation. This cancellation is another reminder of how toothless and ineffective ICC has become. The Big Three call all the shots in the name of ICC. They play against each other wherever and whenever they wish despite COVID waves, player fatigue, bubble environment or terror threats.
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.