Innings victories in cricket – good or bad?

It’s good if it’s your side that’s won, but if you’re impartial, it means that a Test has been one-sided. Australia’s innings victory over West Indies also raises uncomfortable and unwelcome questions about the future of the West Indies as a Test team, even if their best player, Adrian Barath, does have a few years left in him.

India’s innings victory over Sri Lanka is more welcome. Firstly, Sri Lanka scored 760-7 in the first Test, which was good batting, but not good cricket. By actually seeing some wickets, Indian fans might not be driven further towards the shorter formats and by seeing their team gaily prance to victory without a care in the world, they might even warm to Tests a bit. Plus, India should win at home. A tour of India being as hard as diamonds is one of the defining features of cricket.

But if you really want good cricket, look to New Zealand v Pakistan. No declarations, tough batting in the second innings and a tight finish. The balance between bat and ball changed as the match progressed and the players who did well can feel damn pleased with themselves. New Zealand didn’t just win; they earned victory.

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10 Appeals

  1. Personally I prefer the New Zealand V Pakistan model of cricket, maybe because it is more suited to English cricket and it is were we are most successful.

    England are never going to beat India or Sri Lanka on a pitch which is just a shoot out for the batsmen, England need more balanced conditions.

    With regard to the India V Sri Lanka series I think I’m right in saying that the only reason it is not still 0-0 is because of two poor batting performances from Sri Lanka in the 2nd Test.

    What really appeals to the Indian crowds I don’t know. I sometimes get the impression they would happily see a bore draw like the in the 1st test as long as Sachin Tendulkar gets a century.

    They would seem to be happier with that, than a decent contest between bat and ball finishing on day 4 or 5.

  2. Indian crowds want to watch Tendulkar and Sehwag to bat. A win would also be good. But that is primarily why we want to watch test cricket.

  3. There was one good reason the NZ-Pak test was good – fiery fast bowling that made sure that the batting was rendered inept. No, it is not the close finish – that has never been the hallmark of tests. It is ironic so many people over so many blogs are going gaga over the tight finish – an intrinsically “one-day” characteristic.

  4. King Cricket

    November 29, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    When you’re watching the first four days, you don’t know how the match is going to pan out. A tight finish is a bonus.

    Equally, a vast first innings that takes one result out of the equation doesn’t help matters.

  5. “With regard to the India V Sri Lanka series I think I’m right in saying that the only reason it is not still 0-0 is because of two poor batting performances from Sri Lanka in the 2nd Test.”

    Is it only allowed to be poor batting? Sreesanth bowled really nicely, he looked well up for it and was getting some decent movement.

    Was it only poor batting by the Saffers today? I am sure an English fan wouldn’t say so.

  6. @KC: “A tight finish is a bonus” – That’s fair. My point was that this should not be one of the standards when judging the overall quality of a test match.

    “Equally, a vast first innings that takes one result out of the equation doesn’t help matters” – No, it tests the mettle of the other side. Sometimes, like in chess, it’s important to know how to draw too.

    By the way, I stumbled upon this blog only recently and am thoroughly enjoying it.

  7. King Cricket

    November 29, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Suppose that’s it really. The beauty of Test cricket is in the variety and first innings declarations and ‘trying to take 20 wickets’ are the most common types of matches at the minute.

    Read the old stuff, by the way. The site’s been on the slide for a while now.

  8. Yes, Deep Cower, read the old stuff.

    KC does few match reports anymore – and animals being conspicuously indifferent to cricket are conspicuously absent.

    As for bats in weird places…

    (But he can hit the mark from time to time.)

  9. “As for bats in weird places…”

    Please, oh please, tell me that’s not what I think it is.

  10. King Cricket

    November 30, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Click the link in the right sidebar if you dare.

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