We’ve always been of the opinion that a Test can last up to five days and that if all of that allotted time is required, things haven’t really panned out correctly.
Others see it differently. We often see comments of the oeuvre ‘a Test is supposed to last five days’ in criticism of turning pitches, such as that being used for the third Test between India and South Africa. It seems to be one of the fundamental philosophical differences defining how you view low scoring games.
India were bowled out for 215 in their first innings. Not a great score, but within the bounds of normality to our eyes. Maybe it’s a generational thing with younger cricketer followers accustomed to 560-5 declarations seeing such a total as freakishly abnormal.
This pitch is certainly doing a lot, but without wishing to unnecessarily retread ground, let’s wait and see how the match develops before drawing conclusions on its quality.
We will ask one question, however. Which online scorecard most commands your attention – the one where you’re waiting to see whether someone’s made their double hundred yet, or the one where a bunch of wickets is liable to have fallen?