The first test between England and Australia this week has highlighted how Test match cricket is still alive and well in the modern world.
The hype around the pre-match build up, the buzz on the first morning and the crescendo of noise that greeted the National anthems and the players was as good as ever, if not better, at Trent Bridge.
England and Australia have been sworn enemies on the cricket field for generations and when they come together in battle in a Test match arena there is no better sight in sport. The passion, aggression and skill is a sight to behold for every cricket fan.
No matter how much Test match grounds and the ECB try and inflate prices we still pay to watch the true test of a Test match cricketer. The sell-out crowds across the country are testament to that.
One-day cricket has its supporters and it is very entertaining. The hustle and bustle of Twenty/20 however does not have the appeal to true connoisseurs of the game and has not been able to overtake Test match cricket in terms of its popularity. At one point sceptics of the test match form of the game were predicting that the Twenty/20 format would take over. Thankfully, despite its obvious appeal, it has not achieved this.
It could be argued that Twenty/20 cricket has fallen in popularity since it's early years and the 50-over format is struggling to compete with other forms of the game as it continually changes its rules in order to make it more exciting for the duration of the match and not just certain periods.
One-day cricket has had an impact on Test cricket as players are scoring at a faster rate, batsmen play more extravagantly and teams try to dominate each other from the start. Five day test matches are a rarity these days unless the weather intervenes.
England v Australia Test match battles are a level above most clashes around the world as these two proud sporting nations compete with every strained sinew to be crowned the holders of the most coveted prize in cricket - The Ashes. Who would have thought that a former perfume pot would stir such emotions in two countries that are geographically poles apart.
Test match cricket is responsible for many great performances over many years and has unearthed countless world-class stars that have graced the beautiful game. One-day cricket may have its individual stars but their achievements happen in the blink of an eye before the next game which comes thick and fast. I doubt whether players who have been unearthed to play Twenty/20 cricket will be able to adapt to the demands of Test cricket and perform consistently for a decade.
I can understand why people who do not understand Test match cricket or have never witnessed a game struggle to comprehend why the game lasts five days and there can be no winner at the end. However, I defy a true cricket fan to successfully argue for one-day cricket over Test match cricket in terms of appeal, longevity and history.
Who would have predicted the innings from Ashton Agar on his Test match debut batting at number 11?
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