Test Match Cricket: Boring?

Robbie MatthewsContributor IJune 4, 2008

In the media recently, the discussion has raged about four-day County Cricket. Some say it needs to be shortened to three days, due to the length of the match being extremely long, and the unadventurous styles the teams play.

This used to be the case with Test Matches, with boring draws and poor performances. An example of this criticism is the recent Second Test between West Indies and Australia.

The “Windies” batted out the final day, making no attempt to get to the target that was set. All be it Chanderpaul was in amazing form again, his 77* not out of the highest quality, but taken around six hours and off 180 balls, with eight fours.

Granted, some Test Matches can be dull, with poor results, and sleep being the only thing on the agenda. However, people can say that Test Match cricket is heading back to boring, dull matches shows that they clearly haven't been watching many of the more recent matches.

Since the 2005 Ashes, arguably the most entertaining and exciting Test Series yet, the game has picked up pace and has gained more support from fans. From the exciting 4th test, with England set 130 to win, and being reduced to 112-7, the excitement was overwhelming.

Even in some of the other matches being played around the world, more excitement and drama is being shown— take Jason Gillespie's 200*, not out against Bangladesh, or the continuing England and New Zealand Tests currently being played in England— even the Australia-India series was impressively exciting.

This problem has increased with the more One Day and Twenty-twenty matches that are being played, with the fast scoring runs, fast falling wickets, and the fun and crazy atmosphere's at the grounds.

As I reflect on Ravi Bopara's 201*, not out off 138 balls as Essex scored 350-5 off 50 over, at 7.00 runs, this is a poor reflection on the Second Test between West Indies and Austrailia— with the run rate struggling to reach three an over in the West Indian second innings.

The Twenty-twenty matches, whilst highly enjoyable, can be seen as "non proper" cricket. The damaging and lasting effect that this has already and will continue to have on Test Match and for day cricket is apparent. Yet, whilst watching the Second New Zealand Innings in the Second Test between England and New Zealand was one of the most exciting moments and impressive parts of the Test Series that some can questionably say, have ever watched.

Will Test Match Cricket ever be left alone?

Probably not, due solely to the increase on the shortened version of the game, with the recent IPL and ICL causing talk of ACLs and ECLs, and with the success of the Twenty20 World Cup.

The pressure on exciting Test Match cricket has been increased, but as long as the teams play Test Match cricket, there will always be drama, and there will always be upsets.