The Lottery of T20 Cricket

It’s fast, it’s brash, and it’s the apple of the ECB’s eye. T20 cricket is now the most popular form of the game (at least when it comes to the broader public) and it’s certainly here to stay. We can all argue whether it’s endangering test cricket or not – this one splits opinion like a Donald Trump executive order – but those who run the sport seem unconcerned. T20 is paying the bills and that’s what matters most.

Although I’m no fan of bean counters – although I admit I did marry one – I have some sympathy with the accountants. First class cricket doesn’t bring in the punters like it used to, and T20 is a great way to get bums on seats. But that doesn’t mean I have to love it.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a bit of T20 hit and giggle but I’ll never love it as much as good old fashioned test cricket. The latter is a far more sophisticated game full of subtleties and nuances, whereas T20 is dangerously close to baseball in my humble opinion.

A batsman wielding a mighty chunk of willow trying to smack a helpless bowler into orbit is a tad crude for my taste. There’s not enough variety and the game doesn’t ebb and flow like a test match. First class cricket values defence as much as attack; it rewards things like persistence and mental strength as much as having the biggest muscles.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on this. I’m simply making a subjective judgement. However, there is one palpable reason why I think T20 will never be as compelling or absorbing as the full fat version of the sport: at the end of the day, twenty over cricket is just too much of a lottery at times.

I know that luck plays an integral role in all forms of cricket but T20 takes things one step too far. It’s not that T20 batsmen simply swing the bat and hope, far from it, I just think the game is too short for teams to make a recovery. A big setback can absolutely cripple a team in the shortest form and there’s rarely time to mount a comeback.

Look at it this way. If a team collapses to 15-3 off 5 overs in a T20 match then they’re basically dead and buried. They’d need to score at ten an over (despite not having too many wickets in the hutch) just to make a game of it. When the game is condensed into a handful of overs, it’s easier for an inferior team to emerge on top.

In a test match this setback wouldn’t be fatal. With four full days and 75 overs to go, there’s plenty of time for either a slow recovery or a prolonged counter-attack that ultimately swings the game. An XI can dig in, weather the storm, and then make their move when the time comes. In T20 it’s all over in the blink of an eye.

T20 is exciting, of course, and it certainly has its place. It’s just as much fun as an online casino Australia no deposit bonus. However, there’s always been something a bit special about test cricket. T20 will never be able to replicate the incredible atmosphere created by the first morning of a test – when the crowd emits that charming hum of anticipation.

Maybe I’m biased. And maybe I’m just pining for the idle summers of my youth, when the dulcet tones of Richie Benaud were far more important than mundane things like homework. However if , like me, you prefer watching things unfold gradually, and like the drama to linger a little longer, then test cricket will always be your one true love.

James Morgan

Written in collaboration with Casino-Au.


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