By Anjum Chopra
As an Indian I do feel sad. The mace that we so proudly held till sometime back, now has a new address.
Could the result of the World Test Championship (WTC) final have been any different? Yes and No.
What the Indian team should have done differently and what could have been done better can be discussed over the next month since the Indian men’s team will regroup after a break and begin preparations for the Test series against England that begins on August 4.
But let us be honest here. Did we not enjoy the Test match?
Yes, of course as Indians we wanted it all in our favour but we were treated to some very good cricket. In my view, the inaugural WTC final was a hit. The fact that it kept the audience engaged was evident from the discussions among fans. Even on the 6th day, I was asked if we are getting the victory and the mace home.
The World Test Championship came into existence in 2018 when the Anil Kumble-led technical committee at the ICC finalised the playing conditions.
As the world was hit by the covid-19 pandemic, the term bio-bubble entered common parlance.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) did a phenomenal job to host the West Indies men’s cricket team in the middle of the pandemic in July 2020.
Southampton as a cricketing venue was considered ideal keeping in mind safety and deliverability factors.
At this time of the year, the cricketing world is usually seen in the United Kingdom (UK). Be it for playing or holidaying, UK provides the ideal weather. Yes it rains, but everyone is pretty much accustomed to it.
The International Cricket Council (ICC), keeping in mind the English weather, provisioned a 6th day for the WTC final. Two days were washed out and no play was possible. So, practically we got a result in four days.
We all like to see a result at the end of a game. Good bowling or bad shot selection are all discussions but it is clear that with growing skill level and game-time for players, we are likely to get a result at the end of a Test match.
In the recently-concluded Test match between the England and Indian women, the game went down to the last hour, expecting a result for both the teams.
The England captain Heather Knight voiced her opinion in favour of 5-day Tests for women instead of 4-day games. Just to ensure a result.
Well, at present it might seem difficult to get that. The priority is to have women’s Test match cricket.
Besides, the changing style of play is allowing the probability of a result within four days.
I used to love playing in England. It provided an ideal chance to test your skill and temperament in ever changing weather conditions.
My introduction to the UK summer was in 1999 when the Indian team toured to play Test and ODI series.
Not a lot has changed since then. The style of batting, however, has become more aggressive.
Indian women do boast of a good Test match record against England.
So why not play more Test matches. Players love it! Whether four days or five days, we are seeing more result-oriented matches. Am sure as time progresses we will see a revival of Test format among women too. Men’s cricket and the WTC final of six days have set the thought and the ball rolling.