World Test Championship

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World Test Championship

Postby YVRK » Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:45 pm

Well after that historic BG Trophy where India claimed the series against all odds, we have quite a few test matches happening simuntaneously atm with the build up being to the World Test Championship finals played at Lord's. After Australia postponed their tour to South Africa, New Zealand have automatically qualified for the finals, which means that India, Australia and England are locked in battle for that second place in the finals. However we do have a few test series going on so I thought that making a thread for all test cricket happening at the moment would be a good thing.

West Indies are currently taking on Bangladesh in the subcontinent ( ... -scorecard) for a two test series. With the absence of skipper Jason Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite has taken the reins. Bangladesh batted first and played well, with half centuries to Shadman Islam and Shakib Al Hasan (the latter making his return to international cricket after a while) but with none of the other Bangladeshi batsmen converting their starts, and at 315/7 the Windies could sense some hope. However, young all-rounder Mehidi batting at 8 put up a superb rearguard with the tail, registering his maiden test century as well as getting BD to 430 all out. West Indies didn't bat badly, with 72 for stand in skipper Brathwaite, an uncharacteristically slow 68 from the usually counterattacking Blackwood, and 40s for Mayers and keeper Da Silva, but Mehedi's innings made a huge difference as the Windies were bowled out for 259. The Tigers lost a couple of wickets but then stabilised to end day 3 with a 218 run lead. With regards to bowling, Cornwall and Warrican have been the standouts so far and the two spinners have impressed for the Windies with pacers Roach and Gabriel toiling away but only getting 3 wickets. When the West Indies were sent into bat Mehedi followed up his batting with a 4-fer, with two wickets apiece to Mustafiziur, Taijul Islam and Nayeem Hasan. The test looks to be in Bangladesh's favour but if the West Indies canbe chasing a sub 300 lead they have a chance

Pakistan and South Africa are locking horns in their second test against each other ( ... -scorecard). Pakistan won the first test off the back of an emotional hundred for 35 year old Fawad Alam who was denied a rightful place in the Pakistan test team for years despite being a domestic monster, as well as a good performance by the team as a whole. Anyways, Maharaj and Nortje took apart Pakistan's fragile top order, but the ship was then steadied by Babar and Fawad who scored 77 and 45 respectively before the former wafted at a ball outside off and edged it straight to slip while the latter was runout thanks to some incredible fielding from Bavuma. After this South Africa had a real chance to bowl Pakistan out for a low total, but this week saw another rearguard from an all-rounder as Faheem Ashraf scored 78 not out and would've got his century had the tail stuck around a bit longer. Express pacer Nortje finished with another 5 wicket haul, a very promising young bowler whom I hope will continue to shine in test cricket alongside his fellow paceman Rabada. South Africa didn't get off to the greatest start as Elgar got out for 15, Van Der Dussen went for a golden duck straight after, Markram went after a start of 32, and Du Plessis nicked one behind to the keeper. De Kock and Bavuma made sure that there were no more casualties though as South Africa ended day 2 on 106/4, and will really want the two at the crease to carry on tomorrow as well as contributions from the all-rounders Mulder and Linde down the order

And finally, the big test series between England and India is upon us as Day 1 played out today, the series that will decide which of the big 3 nations progresses to face the Kiwis at Lord's. And I am happy to say that today was a day that was for the most part dominated by England. Burns and Sibley put together a good opening stand before the former fell for 33 after trying to reverse sweep Ashwin and top edging the ball to the keeper, and then it started to look worrying when relative newcomer Dan Lawrence was trapped in front by Bumrah for a duck. However after that, we were treated to a Root masterclass as he just batted, and batted, and batted. He never looked uncomfortable against any bowler and handled India's pacers and 3 pronged spin attack beautifully as he got to a century in his 100th test match. Sibley complimented him very nicely at the other end for a far grittier innings, soaking up 286 balls to score only 86 runs but in doing so he sucked the life out of India's bowlers, and tragically got trapped LBW by Bumrah in the final over of the day and missed out on a deserving century. Still though, 263/3 with Root still there as well as Stokes, Pope, Buttler and even some lower order strength in Archer and Bess to come, we can get a big score (though what will probably happen is we get out for 370, with India then scoring 650/5 declared and then winning by an innings :P )

I was really happy as an English fan with the fight showed today and as thankful as I am to Bayliss for helping us win the World Cup, it's nice to see a focus on test cricket first and foremost under Silverwood and a great mindset for the longest format. We seem to have finally found a decent opening pair in Sibley and Burns and while that number 3 spot is still shaky, Lawrence and Crawley have shown promise. I hope that Root has found his feet again after a rough patch since we need him more than ever. Anderson despite being 38 looks like he's in the prime of his life and the same could be said about Broad to albeit 4 years younger, though it's good to see younger guys like Archer and Curran in the mix and hopefully they'll take to test cricket well in the years to come. Hopefully we can put up a great fight this series at the very least!
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