This isn't Test cricket

Sun, Oct 7, '18


Windies v India

Indian cricket is in camouflage mode. After getting thoroughly exposed in the Test series in England, winning the Asia Cup in Dubai and now the first Test in Rajkot makes one wonder how such cricket can be watched.

Even for the die-hard Indian cricket fan, proceedings in Rajkot were much simply prosaic. Huge hype has been created, first over 18-year-old debutant Prithvi Shaw slamming a ton on debut and then Virat Kohli scoring his 24th Test ton.

These were indeed the highlights of the last three days which will go down in the annals of Test cricket as one of the most one-sided and boring wins for India. There is nothing wrong in winning matches by a huge margin at home, just that wins like these serve no purpose.

To bring the former greats of Test cricket to India and then canning them mercilessly makes for sad viewing. Indian cricket and planning are alien to each other, so if at all the men who run the sport are serious about preparing for the tough tour to Australia, something different should have been done.

In an age of cricket and commerce existing together, meaningless cricket got the right treatment from fans in Rajkot. Not more than a few hundred fans turned up each day. To think that the average fan will digest any rubbish cricket or you can take them for granted is not true.

In an age where watching sport has become so easy thanks to so many television channels beaming live images from across the world, this was not the type of Test cricket anyone wanted to see.

This was, in fact, not even a shade better than defeating Afghanistan in the one-off Test earlier this year in Bengaluru. For those who identify West Indies cricket with fast bowlers charging in to aim the red cherry at the rib cage of Indian batsmen or batsmen like Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards hammering the Indian bowling, viewing this West Indies side was painful.