All over the world people are trying to occupy some pricey real estate, to make a statement about various issues. One place that folks seemed to have forgotten how to occupy is the batting crease.
With a few notable exceptions, such as Rahul Dravid, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and Jacques Kallis, most modern batsmen it seems have forgotten how to occupy the crease. They forget the old maxim that Sunny Gavaskar used to say about bowlers: "give them the first hour and the next five are yours" How else do you explain two good batting sides, being dismissed for under 100 runs and under 50 runs respectively on a pitch that while lively, quick and bouncy, was in no way substandard. Similarly a few days ago a slow, low wicket in the Indian Capital was made to look like a minefield by batsmen who should have had no problems with such wickets, having grown up on them. Nor should have another pitch, a few months ago, this time in Sri Lanka, which provided a bit of turn and some bounce made to look similarly diabolical by batsmen who simply had forgotten the art of Test match batting.
If the modern spectator it is assumed like to see the ball biffed, banged and bludgeoned, in match box sized arenas where with modern bats, even mishits and top edges fly off for sixes, then the administrators of the game who are pandering to the lowest common denominator, should not be surprised when modern batsmen no longer seem to have the technique, and probably even more crucially, the will to play long, patient, substantive innings, which Test match cricket often requires.
There is of course a positive corollary to this, in that modern limited over cricket has made chasing seemingly impossible targets of 5 or more runs per over, even in Test cricket, which has no fielding restrictions or other similar impediments to tight bowling, seem achieveable. And scoring rates of 4+ runs per over even in normal circumstances are commonly achieved, despite the fielding standards having improved beyond recognition from just a couple of decades ago, resulting in far fewer drawn games than in the past.
However, it is clear that in the quest for entertaining cricket, the art of occupying the batting crease has been lost. It is an art that needs to be revived if Test match batsmen are to once again be worthy of that title.
And a lot of it is due to the current environment for many of the Test cricketers.
For example, with one run needed to win, Yuvraj Singh one of India's finest ODI players, played a lazy push at a ball with a gaping hole between bat & pad....
And YET: there's another key ingredient required to occupy the crease, especially when there's a ton of pressure and you're chasing- mental fortitude. Most batsmen seem not to have it these days.
But as Indian ex-captain and leg spinner extraordinaire, Anil Kumble showed in Sydney 2008, all it takes to occupy a hostile crease, is the refusal to believe in defeat, and not necessarily the greatest technique.
The attention span of modern batters has been shortened due to instant cricket, yes, but more dangerous is the lack of heart shown in many of the same batters.
It's as if, they've given up on Test cricket or any form of cricket that will Test their mind, rather than body alone.
24 needed with a bunny coming in at 11? No problem!
Valid points in this day and age of T20 masala. We saw a classic example just yesterday, when both Aussie and Saffie batsmen crumbled spectacularly on a crazy pitch. But there should also be a balance between occupying the crease and playing positively. Anyway I have a feeling that Test matches will be shortened to 3 or 4 day matches in future.
India - World Cup winners 2011!!!
Champions Trophy winners 2013!!!
Congrats to Indian team and all Indian fans!
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment.
We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals.
We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards.
If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing