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T20 or Tests: Why choose?
Prem Panicker / April 24, 2008
Dileep Premachandran is clear that the IPL has found both home and raison d'etre; the only question in his mind is how the more traditional forms of cricket [while on that, it's a bit like how, when the Net first happened along, I used to hear journalists talk of 'traditional' media, including print and television and excluding us Web types; suddenly ODIs�which, till the other day, cued regular laments about how it was killing off Test cricket, has become traditional] will cope with the upstart and, as 'traditional media' has had to do, reinvent themselves to meet the challenge.
I'd love to put Dileep in a room with Mukul Kesavan and Nirmal Shekhar�high quality journalists all, but on this issue, apparently holding widely divergent views. Mukul in The Telegraph is clearly unimpressed.
Ahem. I could argue, but won't; this piece, with due respect to an author I greatly respect, seems powered by some choler [the slightest deviation down the legside is equally penalized in ODIs, for instance; McGrath and Asif would be better placed to respond to that other bit about bowlers being fetch and carry men].
Mukul has company in Nirmal Shekar, who in the Hindu is equally acerbic:
Oh-kay! Now I know why I get so pissed off at those lightning chess games Vishy Anand wins with fair regularity. No, seriously -- why does so much of contemporary punditry force us to choose, between two forms of entertainment? I love Tests -- the lyrical pace, the ebbs and flows, the strategic thrusts and counter-thrusts, the mistakes and recoveries, the gradual build up, like some grand opera, towards a thunderous finish [except when two sets of batsmen reduce bowlers to irrelevancies, far more painfully than in T20s because in Tests, the pain is spread over five days; remember Chennai's sleep fest recently, folks?]. And from what I have watched of T20 thus far, between the World Cup, some ICL games, and now these [yes, there have been one sided games -- let that form that is without sin cast the first stone], I like that the short form carries with it all these nuances, except that they come considerably compressed. In a Test for instance, you try to recover from a bad session; in ODIs from a bad spell; here, it is often from one bad ball.
So again -- must argument remain confined to the diametrically opposite viewpoints: either you like Test cricket, in which case you hope T20 dies an unnatural death, preferably under the wheels of Lalit Modi's speeding car, or you like T20, in which case Test cricket can go do the other thing?Coverage: Indian Premier League
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