The second Test between England and India is delicately poised and it is thanks to Stuart Broad. He made an innings-saving 64 in England’s first dig. He then routed India when they looked like building a healthy lead. On day two Broad took 6-46, including a hat trick.
Broad is yet a young man but England must be pleased with his progress. My observation of him is that he struggles with consistency and perhaps sometimes does not bend his back when he should. But when conditions suit him, and he is in a good mood, he can be a world beater. Perhaps as time goes by he is increasing his success rate and is turning into one hell of a cricketer. But we shall see.
It has been brought to my attention that the ICC XI “Test” match may not be the only match not worthy of Test status. I’m curious as to how many we can knock off! I suspect that India and England won’t actually be playing the 2000th Test match in this series.
I’ll list a few examples and you are welcome to add some (via way of commenting on the dongles site) and we can come up with a final deduction and notify the ICC. Let’s say that the ICC World XI deduction makes it 1999.
In 1882/83, a fourth Test was added during the tour, by popular demand. Australia won the match and squared the series but did not keep the Ashes because England said they had won the scheduled series 2-1. Therefore, I move that this “Test” not be counted. 1998
The first “Test” between Australia and New Zealand was in 1945-46 and New Zealand set some lovely records in that match. That match was originally just an Australian XI versus a New Zealand XI and was not ratified as a Test match until decades later. So let’s not count that. 1997
Australia played 24 Tests during WSC with a 3rd rate team. 1973. But should we add in any WSC Super Tests? I think I’ll leave that alone or the ghosts of The Don and Tiger may come back and haunt me. Perhaps WSC was one thing that Bradman and O’Reilly agreed on.
Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have played eight times…. 1965
Bangladesh played the West Indies in 2009 during the Windies players strike over sponsorship. 1963
So let’s see if we can come up with a more accurate number and the real 2000th Test can be played in a few years time. Probably quite a few years given the amount of T20 and ODI cricket that needs to be played. Naturally, this number needs to be manipulated so that India is scheduled to play the 2000th Test, whenever it is.
Postscript: In case you are wondering, the “3rd Test” of the 1970-71 Ashes series was washed out without a ball being bowled. It is numbered 675a (the Tests either side are 675 and 676) so I assume is not counted.
The 2000th test has just concluded and has it signalled a move in supremacy (at least on the field) from the new world order back to the old world order? We shall see. And was it really the 2000th Test or only the 1999th Test and does anybody care about that detail?
Just as there was discussion with Y2K – was it really the first year of the new millennium or in fact, the last year of the incumbent – the festivities went on oblivious of that minor point, the same applies to the 2000th Test match. But should we pay more attention? The game of cricket is more obsessed with numbers than most and there is a big difference between, say, a batsman making 99 runs as opposed to 100. Just one run does not often make a difference to the match but it seems to make a lot of difference in this case. So why should not the T2K question be important?
Personally, I don’t care and am not going any further into it, except to say, I feel bound to explain that some feel that the ICC World XI “Test” should not count and that is why this really was the 1999th Test. Whatever the case, 1999 or 2000, that is a lot of days both dreary and exciting, sunny and rainy, good and bad.
And England has bored it up them. After a good campaign against Sri Lanka, they have carried the good form on to the Indian series. Even KP managed some runs. Lots of them. But my buddy, Jay, got his wish with Dravid deservedly getting his name on the honour board at Lords’. And Dhoni did something really surprising. Two things. He didn’t complain about the umpiring and he bowled some interesting overs of in swingers. I had no idea that he had the ability to do either of those things. And in fact, if there was any cause for complaint in the umpiring department, it was England who held it.
If England wins this four Test series by a margin of two, believe it or not, in less than one year, they will have risen from 5th to 1st in the Test rankings. They probably fancy their chances, I should think.