1st Test at Abu Dhabi:
South Africa 249 and 232
Pakistan 442 and 45
Pakistan won by 7 wickets
2nd Test at Dubai:
Pakistan 99 and 326
South Africa 517
South Africa won by an innings and 92 runs
3rd, 4th, and 5th Tests:
The two Test series strikes again.
The thing is, the people in charge like them – surely because Tests are not as financially viable as a couple T20s – and prefer to schedule a few one-dayers instead of another Test or two. And the players seem okay with them. And the fans keep showing up for those meaningless ODIs despite all of their bitching on Twitter. And so I think, unfortunately, we are stuck with them. So we might as well find a way to get used to them.
At first glance, of course, the World Test Championship is the answer, because it gives meaning to every single Test match. But upon further inspection – while yes that it is true – it still leaves the fan with too many unanswered questions.
Was the first Test a fluke? The SECOND!?
And so on.
Now of course even a five Test series can end in a draw. But in that case the draw would be the proper result. While in a two Test series there is nothing proper about any possible result. Well, except for maybe a 2-0 drubbing. But even in that case the aforementioned unanswered questions remain.
In a perfect world, every series is comprised of five Tests and the outcome of the series is what counts toward a squad’s ICC ranking – not the individual matches therein. But that’s not what the ICC wants. It’s almost as if they want as little meaning as possible in every series in order to add even more value to their tournaments. Even the Ashes feels silly now with two series happening in the same calendar year – a scheduling necessity because of the ICC’s Champions Trophy.
And so that is where we are at. And it is too bad.
But the good news is cricket – more so than every other sport when you think about it – is open to change. New formats, new rules, new equipment (the helmet, for instance, changed the game forever), new tournaments, new tour set ups…etc. The game – despite the fact that it appears on the outside to rely on strict adherence to tradition – changes. A lot. All the time even. Other sports don’t.
So while two Test series are the hot thing right now, they won’t be forever. In the meantime, let’s just keep in mind that two Tests are better than no Tests at all.
And keep bitching on Twitter, too, of course.