The test format is going through a kind of reinvention where we are seeing top teams making a slight adjustment to their approach. The last few years have been not exactly fruitful for test cricket as the ICC would have expected but with the Bazball revolution, the attention has been attached, it has been proved that a test series can be a blockbuster one if the teams can only match the intensity.
Australian men’s team head coach Andrew McDonald has suggested that to keep this flame of test cricket alive, there should be minimum three matches series. Currently, only three teams –Australia, England and India– play minimum three matche series. England and Australia play Ashes series of 5 scheduled matches.
While there are four matches in Border-Gavaskar Trophy. However, from the next tour, which means when Indian test team will travel Australia for Border-Gavaskar Trophy, there will be a five matches encounter for the first time.
After conclusion of recent Ashes 2023 which ended in 2-2 draw, Andrew McDonald said to ESPNcricinfo:
“I’d encourage that the minimum number of Tests against a nation should be three, I think two-Test-match series should be put on the back burner and that would show the importance of Test cricket to every nation if it was a minimum of three Test matches.”
Australia has some rest for a month. After that, they will host a three match series against Pakistan followed by 2 match series against West Indies. Three months ago, England traveled New Zealand for two match test series, we can look back and say, that New Zealand – England test series deserved at least 3 matches.
Despite being unofficially regarded as a big team, New Zealand will only host Australia for two match test series. McDonald went further to suggest that the Ashes should be a six match long series which will surely take a course of 50 days for happening.
However if the game is providing entertainment and ultra level of competitiveness, there is no doubt that this matter must be taken seriously by the ICC. The Ashes 2023 was a blockbuster in all aspects of the game. Although it was a 5 test match series, some felt like it ended too soon. There could have been great matches when a spectacle like this is on show.
Seeing how engaging and breathtaking the atmosphere was throughout the Ashes 2023, McDonald reflected:
“You love seeing people line up the gates, and you get to the ground in the morning and there’s just a murmur, there’s a buzz and they’re keen to go and watch a Test match. To me, that’s really important for the landscape of Test-match cricket.”
During home test matches last year in Australia, the commentators kept asking “Where are the viewers?” Few years back, the test cricket atmosphere in Australia used to be electric. After a through observation, it appears that fans are losing interest in the game because it doesn’t provide adequate value of their time.
It will be exciting to see how test cricket moves ahead in the spectrum of new landscape. Because there are voices speaking for the dominance of shorter formats of the game, and if test cricket is soul of the game then shorter format is different sets of organs to this game.