We had our semester exams going at the same time but managed to catch the last session before the aussies won. The main aim was to watch Mark Waugh bat. He didn't make too many runs but he was not out at the end. Every run he made, was sheer poetry.
That was then, and this is now.
I went to see the first day of the 3rd Test between India and Pakistan yesterday. Boy! Was it a refreshing change. Here are some home truths
1. Watching test cricket isn't boring, just watching it on TV is. Consider this. Who that hell will enjoy watching tv 7 hours a day for 5 days only to find a no-result or boring draw? No one.
2. Test cricket is interesting, if you pay attention to the fielding captain. The field placement is chess-like and its really interesting to watch, especially when they come off.
3. Watching a spectacular fightback is exciting. Session by Session play has a wonderful feel to it.
4. TV with its multiple replays just doesn't give you a feel of things. Half the time you watch only the batsman, but the theatricals are lost. There was one time just before Lunch that Shoaib Akhtar (one of the reasons to watch!) came to field at final leg near our stand. The crowd went berserk, and he acknowledged that by doing a short Namaste!
5. TV commentators talk crap. They mention field placings in passing and give undue importance to the batsman, or whatever the camera catches. I caught the highlights on TV once I got back home and also heard some of the comments. They were pretty plain and obvious.
6. No ads!!! Ya! Though the big screen does show ads between overs, its not overwhelming like it is on TV. No stupid animating tigers during the broadcast, no frantic channel surfing.
7. The crowd! Oh I really missed that, especially when the Indians were playing well. I'm not sure it would have been as good had they collapsed from 61/4 to a paltry score, but since it was a beautiful partnership, the crowd enjoyed it and made it exciting to watch
I'm going again, when the chance comes.
Myopic view of cricket