This is a good pitch. It has led to good cricket.
A one-day pitch can be flat, because the game progresses with each over, but Test matches progress with the fall of wickets. When a match is progressing, other events other than wickets also matter more. It is how Test cricket should be.
A flat pitch tests the relentlessness and concentration of batting sides, but little more. A pitch like this one at Trent Bridge tests those things to a lesser degree, but it also tests skill and decision-making. A hundred in this context is worth so, so much.
Rahul Dravid hit a hundred and it is innings like his that remind you why a batsman’s average doesn’t directly correspond to his value. Dravid’s average is high, obviously, but if Thilan Samaraweera is a better batsman than he is, we’ll start going on work nights out at the next available opportunity.
Samaraweera is a good batsman too, but his 231 during this absolute horrow show boosted his average more than Dravid’s 117 yesterday – that’s the point we’re making. We’d describe exactly why Dravid’s innings was so good, but we have little to add to Mike Selvey’s dissection of it.
In not entirely unrelated news
Ravi Bopara achieved something similar this week. Overshadowed by a Test match and David Masters’ bizarre figures of 8-10 in the same fixture, Bopara’s innings has been lost a bit.
Only two of 44 indvidual innings in the Essex v Leicestershire match were of over 40. Billy Godleman made 77. Ravi Bopara made 178. That is exceptional.
However, while the pitch added to the challenge and therefore the achievement, County Championship second division bowling detracts from it.
What detracted from Dravid’s innings? Nothing. That is Test cricket.