Quote Originally Posted by tantalus View Post
Is that why you are not as interested in T20? ofcourse the aussies are decisively more dominant at test cricket where a larger pool of players are required...
I'm not interested in T20 because it is contrived, disposable, repetitive & shallow. It is instantly forgettable. As I said elsewhere, I can recall test matches I saw in the 1970s & I can describe things that happened in test matches before my father was born. I can barely recall the last T20 I saw. It is like seeing Einstein reduced to talking about the Khardashians. Forever.

National success has no bearing on it. I have only marginally more interest in 50 over cricket, and we are the most successful nation in history at that.

I like alot of sports, but cricket was never one of them. That said, T50, and T20 have grown on me. I find test cricket lacks the condensed excitement that I enjoy in sport, plus T20 provides upsets and allows smaller nations with fewer players to be competitive, a major plus in a sport that lacks competitive nations. I'm irish, and could be accused of bias as Ireland are very competitive at T20 where the quota for quality players is smaller, and with batsmen in particular, we have enough to get by.

Test cricket is for the purists, but tradition aside, I would be interested in hearing technical, objective arguments to why it is the best format from the spectators point of view, from those who hold that opinion.
Darth did a magnificent job of explaining tests, I'll try not to repeat too much.

I'll try not to get too much into tradition, but it matters in Test cricket. The sense of being part of a historical continuum is one of the things I love about it. I learned to love cricket at the feet of my father as he did at the feet of his. I can remember seeing my uncle's eyes light up talking about seeing Bradman bat just once. I realise that this is one of the problems people have with 'getting into' test cricket. It is not a game that is easy to approach or find a way into, especially in a world where sport is packaged as an 'excitement machine'.

To me, Test Cricket is like the Sistine Chapel, 50 over is a small painting & T20 a rough sketch. The shorter versions of the game have been specifically engineered to be 'exciting' but at the expense of a balanced contest. it also results in an incredibly repetitive game. I used to be quite enthusiastic about 50 over games, but over time they just began to seem very repetitive. Apart from World Cups I struggle to get excited because I know I will be seeing much the same thing I saw last year or 20 years ago. From your point of view I can see why these sports are both more approachable & more interesting. They are easier to digest & more relevant. They are a good starting point - we take my 6 year old nephew to T20 games. In time he will go to 50 over games & then tests. He already watches parts of those on TV.

In a test match conditions change. Not once, or twice, but repeatedly. Tests are not simply a test of ability in a specific moment, but of endurance. You have to be good for 5 days, not 30 minutes. Decisions you make on day 1 can have repercussions on day 5. Mistakes you make on day 1 can be redeemed later. There is time to adapt & change. As Darth said, you can almost lose a game in one session & be back on top by the end of the next, then back again. In the last test I went to both Australia & England were on top several times & England ended up losing a game they should have won.

The strategy & tactics of the game are magnificent. Bowlers can set fields & bowl with an aim to get a batsman many overs later. Shane Warne would famously work on batsmen not just for overs, but days on & off. he would try to get inside their heads & get them to slowly change how they played him in order to get their wicket. Such things are beautiful to watch. They are not just about what is happening in the moment, but what will happen days from then. Test cricket is a game of mind and body. Bowlers & batsmen need to endure long periods at the crease to succeed. A bowler can run further in a day than a marathon runner & a batsman can be at the crease for many, many hours. One lapse of concentration can end his innings. It is the combination of time, conditions, physical & mental requirements and balance that give tests their depth. The range of possibilities in a test are so vastly greater than in limited overs cricket. Even a boring test can have wonderful moments. They are the ultimate Test of all the disciplines of the game.

I understand the 'condensed excitement' aspect of sport. My other favourite sport is Australian Rules, one of the most exciting sports in the world & the one requiring the greatest all round skills. These are games you watch every minute of, glues to the action. Test cricket doesn't need to be watched from start to finish. It has never been that sort of game. You watch a session here & there. You listen to it on the radio. You check the score on your computer at work & watch the day's highlights at home at night. Even at a game people chat, read the paper & drift in & out of the contest. Test cricket happens around you. You break it down into digestible pieces & consume it that way. From my perspective not all sport needs to be short, spectacular & immediate. There is a place for the explosive, tactical & physical & a place for the cerebral & the strategic. Test cricket exists in a different time & place and that is one of its joys. In a world of 'now, now, now' and instant gratification it is about waiting for the payoff & playing the 'long game'. It has a place.

Approach it slowly. Delve into a bit of the history & consume it in bite sized chunks. it will repay the investment.