It’s a generalisation to say that long-term cricket fans gravitate towards the longest format, but it’s not an outrageous generalisation, like saying that all left-handed people are agents of Lucifer.
We’ve twice this year had perfectly civil interaction with someone who has later revealed themselves to be sickeningly wrong-handed, but we haven’t spoken to a single person in that period who has watched cricket for a decade or more and whose favourite format is Twenty20.
Yet here we have a two-Test series between South Africa and Australia. It’s counterintuitive that the whole sport should be geared more towards the fairweather fan than the diehard, but it is understandable. Our loyalty is taken for granted and the assumption is that we will make do with other formats if that is what we are given.
Still, if we were an Australian, we’d be quite pissed off that our side had lost the chance to win a Test series in the space of one hour of hilarious batting during the first Test.
“Fourth day of a series and the best we can hope for is a draw,” we’d say. “Is this what it means to be Australian these days? Is this our lot from now on? Is this why our forefathers renounced sleeves?”