For some, it’s the perfect utilisation of time, for most, it’s a complete waste. For some, it signifies enjoyment, for most, it signifies boredom. It means everything to some, it means nothing to most. For some it’s life, for most it’s lifeless. In a nutshell, this is what Test Cricket is.
When people ask me how I have the patience to even watch, let alone love a game spread over five days, I often find myself struggling to open my mouth. It’s because there’s so much to say, that mere words don’t seem enough. It’s because there’s so much more to Test Cricket than what appears to laymen. It’s because there’s a whole new world that you set your eyes upon when you explore the beauty of Test Cricket. When you start exploring this beauty, you start understanding what Test Cricket is. It starts meaning life to you.
When I actually sat down to think why those five days of non interesting matches filled with dead bat defences, balls left alone, often defensive bowling ploys still give me joy, still give me a feeling of satisfaction, still make me not want to stop watching it, I had just one answer.
It’s because that beautiful cover drive, that perfectly directed throw from cover point or that match winning wicket was worth it all, the five days of dead bats and defensive bowling strategies.
It’s very tough to comprehend how one moment makes the entire match worth it. How it forces you to watch it over and over again, how it makes you think about it at length, how you can have endless conversations about it with fellow enthusiasts. There’s actually no answer to it. That one moment, of sheer brilliance, just makes it all worth it.
And when these moments happen to be game changing ones, your hair stands on end, you get goosebumps. You feel a rush of adrenaline, you imagine yourself to be in that player’s shoes. It’s insane, it’s unreal. It’s what Test Cricket does to you.
Remember Andrew Flintoff running out Ricky Ponting in the last Test of the 2009 Ashes. It’s moments like this which make Test Cricket worth it, it’s moments like this which make life worth it.
When you have had a pathetic day at work, or fought with a friend, when everything seems to be going wrong, these moments will always to be there. To give you joy, to tell you that life is worth it.