Historical changes about to begin with four day Test in Port Elizabeth
It has been known that once German government ordered to ban Cricket from the country merely because it is a too lengthy game to watch and more sarcastically even after playing whole five days, teeming possibilities remain that the match could come out without any result!
Whatsoever, Cricket is all about that; for centuries passed, the game is meant to be the real one when it comes in form of Test cricket – the five day long bonanza of the elite cricketers.
With time carrying the technological advancement and the sports are tend to becoming more and more commercialized, the formats of cricket have been evolved, intrinsically in aspect of time.
The five day long Test cricket is followed by one day long, fifty over matches. After over half a century of ODI cricket, twenty over per innings matches sprung to steal the momentum of the game. Last but not the least, a cricket match akin to soccer has just recently been undergone in Sharjah; it is all about a ninety minute affair – 10 over apiece for both teams.
Whatsoever, the five day Test match itself is now also under the surgeons’ knife as International Cricket Council has experimentally initiated a four day Test, dawning from 26th of December, 2017 (Tuesday) at the St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth letting South Africa to enter right into the history book as the host of first four day Test match.
Quite knowingly the severity of the incident, South African skipper Faf du Plessis said, “Its unknown territory for all of us – we’ve played a pink-ball Test before but this is four-day cricket. There’s even more room for the unknown and thinking out of the box and making sure you can outsmart and out-think the opposition, so if there is an opportunity to do that, we’ll do it.”
“I am a fan of five-day Test cricket. I believe the great Test matches have gone to the last hour of the last day on day five. For five days you have to graft it out. Bowlers have to bowl a lot more and batters have to construct much bigger innings. This Test proved that a day five was needed. If it was a rain-off yesterday, it would have been very disappointing so I am a fan of that,” he added backing the old one after everything.
With AB de Villiers’ returning in the arena along with Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn all are making comeback after prolong period of injury troubles, South Africa is probably assuming a landslide result against ailing Zimbabwe.
South Africa’s coach Ottis Gibson, being pleased to have his big guns in the team said, “Some nightmares you want to wake up quickly but this one is different because you’re bringing back such good-quality players. It will be an interesting selection but if we get it right then the strength of the team we can put out is a pleasing thing.”
Whoever rampart the decision thinking the condensing of the game’s length would lead to more attractiveness of Test cricket among general crowd, the facts and figures of past decade of the elite format directed to justification of the decision.
From 2010, 190 of 330 Tests, that is only 42 percent, survived up to the fifth day of the match. In 2017 alone, 14 out of 31 Test matches ended in the last day.
For some countries, four day Tests would be more cost effective in terms of broadcasting capabilities and revenues. Like Thilanga Sumathipala, the head of the Sri Lanka Cricket who advocated for the four day Test matches since long.
To him, curtailing the time span of the match will reduce broadcast expenditure as spectators generally started declining from the galleries after first days.
Seeing from other dimensions of cricket, ECB boss Colin Graves said, “Let’s look forward, let’s look at what the public wants because we are in the entertainment business and that’s what we’ve got to remember.”
Eyes from all around the cricket globe will certainly look forward at the St. George’s Park within moments to pass from now on – whatever result it might bring, the cricket is going to intrude into a totally new era of history.
South Africa probable XI: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers (C), Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel.
Zimbabwe probable XI: Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor (wk), Ryan Burl, Sikandar Raza, Peter Moor, Graeme Cremer (capt), Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara/Chris Mpofu, Blessing Muzarabani.