Galle Chronicles Everything That’s Right About Test Cricket

Written for ‘The Island’ on March 29, 2012

An arrogant bouncer flying past a batsman’s helmet akin to a modern sexy F-1 car hustling past a grand marshal with the chequered flag or a teaser with loop and guide poetized from the hands of a tweaker hypnotize a bewildered batsman is like adoring the gorgeousness of Phryne-the woman who was used as the model for a statue of Aphrodite, the beauty of it is still the same. Loving it can be as classical as being hit flush on the helmet or foxed in the air.

Test Cricket at its finest and simplistic best can rival almost anything the world can turn up with. It’s in fact a testimony to a normal man’s life, the rigours and blissful moments collected in one exhibition. More than anything, it’s a test of character only the best of the best can break through the glass ceiling. Galle might not have bear witnessed a slam-bang festival or a more stretched version of it, but what it surely did was come up with a question paper of a surface to be answered and a unforgettable test match.

For every maximum, designated from the virus which spread like wild mushrooms around the world nearly three years ago, there was mental warfare-the game within the game. For every hit in anger, was the acquiescence of bat and pad. For every free hit, there were the powers of concentration. For every colour and glamour, there was the good old fashioned intestinal fortitude. In brief, a proper test match always puts a T20 or a one-dayer into ungodly oblivion.

Jonathan Trott maybe the traditional poem from the lips of a lovey-dovey grandmother in the night for a grandson or a granddaughter for some or Prasanna Jayawardena’s second innings vigil could be the catalyst for another world war, but for a set of followers-in a phenomenal sign, a following which is increasing day by day-it is the best herbal massage available. Whether one watches from the stands,-hard task considering the administrators vision in pricing of a ticket can equal the charisma of a rock- the ramparts-the best view a cricket ground in all of the world can brag about-or from the comforts of cushion at home, the feeling won’t be different.

While Mahela Jayawardena showed the class, Trott was the beacon of resilience. P. Jayawardena and Matt Prior-the flag bearers of grit. In a modern age of inflated averages and in direct correlation the egos, this kind of pitches should be revered. So does green tops. You don’t need meditation to relax your mind. A Test match full of drama and an absorbing contest could well be the cure. The diversity of pitches is literally the vessel that pumps blood into the brain.

And isn’t it pleasing to see the ‘Era of Flight’ in full steam? There were a lot who suspected spin bowling won’t retain its charm in world cricket after a generation of wizardry of Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne. This idea has already been pinned down but the best current spinner in the world and the best left-arm spinner in the world certainly put to bed this in the last few days. Swann and Herath represent a generation that ought to be appreciated. Along with Saeed Ajmal, Nathan Lyon, Imran Tahir, Suraj Randiv and friends, they are writing their own script in Cricket.

England has lot on its plate. They are scrutinized for the same offence as India when they were world no1. At least they are facing the problem head on by playing outside of home. As it stands, more than half their line-up hasn’t come to grips with combating spin. They can still be considered the no1 taking into account the form in a lengthy span of time but right now, one thing’s certain. These sub-continental excursions are only providing more questions than answers. Misses better put the coffee pots on.

In highsight, a stock of competitive countries is only going to swell the quality of contests. Pitches of quality are all that’s the need of the hour.

This was what the curator and in a bigger slice the custodian of Galle Stadium, Jayananda Warnaweera had in store for ‘cricinfo’ with regards to his intentions in furnishing a surface. “You shouldn’t produce dead Test pitches just to get scores of 600, that’s my motto.”

As The Beatles nearly sang in ‘Blackbird’, “Take these gleaming eyes and learn to see.” Are you watching featherbedders?

The Island Link-Galle Chronicles Everything That’s Right About Test Cricket


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