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Four Or Five, The Question Of Test Days In Icc Match Updates
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The Test enigma of Four or Five days has been always debatable in cricket discussions. The primary reason of a Test match being four or five days is the concept of draw in the format. Test cricket is the only format that allows a draw considering several aspects of the game like run rate, scores, and number of overs in an inning. In most of the recent matches, a Test always ended with a result, either win or a loss. Also, there was an even distribution of the matches ending the fifth or the fourth day. While most the matches between opponents with a sharp difference in form and strength ended in the fourth day, match with equal opponents were dragged to the fifth. Thus, an inference, clearly apparent, Test format is ought to be a five-day game in its ideal condition.
In recent matches, per ICC match updates in the Test format, the results of matches ending up with a draw is being decreasing. This is related to the fact that Test matches are becoming more scoring these days. High margin runs became a new benchmark in the game with striking rate of batsmen reaching new heights in the format. Thus, the opposition team need to put up a huge contest to beat the other. Both ways, if the team is stronger or even if the team is weak, the matches has more propensity to end on the fourth day.
If the opponent is stronger, the teams bat in every alternative day reaching the decider in the fourth day itself. If a team is weaker, it would not even put up a contest losing the chase. In such condition, the first team that scored high runs lets the second team to bat for the next inning directly, or play for a session or two to hand over the pitch again to the latter. In this condition as well, the play has more propensity to end in the fourth day.
Now, the fifth day play is the only factor that can make Test results ending as draw. This is an aspect that distinguishes cricket from the rest of the games. The last day of the game becomes a slow match with prospect of the match ending without a loss or a win. There is no competition is the game and the match flows without any rivalry. The player just strikes the ball trying to score, while bowlers just attempt to take wickets. Most of the results could be decided beforehand as a draw.
The author is associated with Cricketbolo.com, a popular website for cricket news and updates.
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