The game of cricket has witnessed phenomenal changes over the years.
From the good old days of gentlemen in full sleeves and whites when matches were played for days together to the modern game of Twenty20 (T20) that lasts less than four hours, the game has completely transformed.
The sport is now in a very critical phase of evolution, with the party-music-slam-bang version of cricket, namely T20, rapidly gaining popularity with the masses.
Due to the financial attractiveness of the shorter versions of the games, test cricket is facing a moment of truth: can it survive the sweeping changes that T20 has brought in the fans, in its present state?
The only constant in any facet of life is change and cricket is no exception. Test cricket needs to reinvent itself. And I'm proposing my idea for such a reinvention the oldest version of the game.
1. It will be a four-day/night game, played under lights.
2. The players will wear coloured jerseys and shall play with a white ball.
3. Each team will have a total of 180 overs to bat across both the innings. The team can choose to use the overs at its discretion.
4. 90 overs per day have to be bowled. For every over that is bowled short, one over will be deducted from their batting overs. Delays arising due to legitimate reasons will be factored in as per existing rules.
5. The match will definitely have a result. Draw is not an option unless the game is completely rained out. In case rain stops play during the fourth innings, the revised target will be computed using the Duckworth-Lewis Method.
The other rules of test cricket will continue.
The flip side of this version is that it eliminates good old test-match skills such as playing out a draw, playing for light etc. Also, new ball bowlers who like to exploit the early morning wicket for swing will find this version a disadvantage.
However, it will make the game more result-oriented, and being a four-day encounter gives ample scope for captains to try different strategies for different playing conditions.
This is just a start for a discussion. I hope the community can bring in points to make the framework more robust.