Test cricket is increasingly considered to be endangered and opportunities to trump up its virtues generally do not go missed. One measure of its excellence is a more considered enjoyment of how a game unfolds over five days, and whether that is a satisfaction that is to be cherished over many others is up to the viewer to decide. While that may be so, Test cricket’s very length combined with the possibility of an indecisive outcome makes it seem unwieldy and even pointless in the eyes of those who consider the format increasingly irrelevant. The arguments outlined are of course broad.
The nature of wickets, the competitiveness of fixtures and the frequency of matches, among a few other factors, can lend more texture to each proposal. Irrespective of where one stands with respect to the debate, it cannot be denied that Test cricket (as much as the other formats) is not without its quirks, endearing or otherwise. One of these is the power vested with the skippers to alter the length of an innings in the pursuit of a result.
The decision to curtail an innings has been used wisely, indiscreetly and even abused. The cavalier captain who declares his innings prematurely in the hope of forcing a result only to find the opposition run the target down at
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