Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Stalemate still contains the word "stale"

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  • Stuart Coats,

    You know who enjoyed the game? Garth George. How can you defend that test cricket fans?

    I enjoyed the game.

    I don't like Garth George.

    The fact that we agreed on this makes the world a slightly less animostic place, if only breifly. And surely that is beauty enough in itself.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 181 posts Report Reply

  • Jimmy Southgate,

    The draw is probably my favourite part of test cricket, though I know most people find it the worst aspect of all forms of the game.

    This particular draw wasn't very exciting, but some of the greatest and most tense test match moments come when a tailender has to bat for an hour until the end of play to save a game.

    Plus, if it weren't for the ability to play for a draw, in many tests there'd be no point in even playing on the final day.

    Wellingtown • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Stuart Coats,

    Oh, and I just thought that Stalemate does contain the word stale. It also contains the word mate. And if I was cleverer (and faster) I'd have worked that into my previous post!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 181 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    A lovely blog; my key takeaway? This is now my desktop background

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Oh, and I just thought that Stalemate does contain the word stale. It also contains the word mate

    And lamest. Just thought I'd mention it.

    And yeah. There have been some bloody fabulous test draws. That wasn't one of them.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4354 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Already there are comments being thought out that tell me it's not about the final score but the overall game and that a draw is as valid an outcome as a win-loss scenario. But let me put this out there: No it fucking isn't.

    An anticlimax is what it is.

    Yet, let me be the first (if I type quickly enough) to tell you just how wrong you are. The draw is what sets cricket apart from every other sport. It ain't the same thing as a tie, oh no. It's failing to achieve a result. It's what makes cricket like life. Futile. Pointless. Mostly boring, safe for a few flurries of action which often - as in this taste - aren't enough to make a true difference.

    The only acceptable way to avoid the draw in test cricket without killing the spirit of the game would be the return of tests without a time limit, which were tried and failed because the obtrusive life of players and the schedules of boats and airplanes intervened. But that's the ideal that cricket strives towards - expanding to the point of replacing life.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7357 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I didn't type remotely fast enough. But can I point out that segueway isn't spelt segueway, it's spelt segue, which is Italian for segue? Just fulfilling my daily quota of reminding people where I'm originally from, you understand.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7357 posts Report Reply

  • Stuart Coats,

    There have been some bloody fabulous test draws. That wasn't one of them.

    And yet, if we were Indian supporters we'd be hailing it as a great draw, rather like we did here

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 181 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Where is that, Giovanni? Wellington?

    And I enjoyed this test, although I only got/had to experience it through the ever-ticking over-by-over on Cricinfo. The Indians batted brilliantly to save it, as far as I could tell. I wish we could do that from time to time.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Oh, and I just thought that Stalemate does contain the word stale. It also contains the word mate

    And lamest. Just thought I'd mention it.

    The original title of the post was Stalemate still contains the word "stale", mate

    Thank god for backspace.

    But can I point out that segueway isn't spelt segueway, it's spelt segue, which is Italian for segue

    Curses foiled again.

    A lovely blog; my key takeaway? This is now my desktop background

    My work here is done

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Oh, but you can always petition the ICC to reinstate the timeless test. I hear they're looking for ways to spice up the game and draw in more fans.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    There is nothing wrong with a draw in test cricket, but there is something wrong when a pitch ends up being so heavily weighted in favour of the batsman over bowler.

    One of the beauties of test cricket was the evolving unpredictability of a wearing pitch. But it looks like they’re banning that.

    This bias has to stop

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I actually agree that a tied or drawn game can be good, especially if you see it coming from a way off.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Chapman,

    Best test of the summer I reckon.

    But:

    You know who enjoyed the game? Garth George. How can you defend that test cricket fans?

    is almost enough to put you off the sport entirely.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2008 • 132 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    A tied game of test cricket would be extraordinary, it's only happened twice. Nice link, LegBreak.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7357 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    After five days (two of which featured the good version of the Black Caps) the Napier test limped to a draw, which is a strange thing considering that one team scored more than the other team.

    3 days. The way they worked their butts off to get India out in the first innings was really impressive.

    I wonder if the other way to ensure that most cricket test matches have a result is to go with controls over the wicket. I can't think of any other sport where the playing surface has such a massive influence over the way the game turns out.

    We want neither the green tops where the match finishes in 2 days, nor the tarmac roads where it could go on for 10.

    I'm not expert on groundskeeping, but surely they must be able to set some reasonable expectations boundaries for a wicket in terms of grass, bounce etc so that most tests finish in the 4-5 day bracket, a few end in a draw, and a few finish early.

    That big shots blog is fantastic.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6165 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Re the Garth George article:

    Don’t worry people. He sates in there that he is a “latecomer to cricket”

    So he’s obviously a peasant too.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Woz at the Skybatch,

    If you think of test cricket as 'organised loafing' (like the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 40's who allegedly said such) then perhaps the cut and thrust of what ends as a 5 day draw may pass you by.

    As a youngster when my father and I would be watching test cricket, my mother would always ask, "Who is winning...?" We would sigh and reply that, "It isn't as easy as that..."

    I admit, it is not for folk that are after more immediate thrills. But I still love it and you will find me (and a lot of those with the same afflication) on the hill at the Basin from tomorrow pm for the next few days. I'll be the one looking to improve my 'organised loafing' skills...

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I admit, it is not for folk that are after more immediate thrills. But I still love it and you will find me (and a lot of those with the same afflication) on the hill at the Basin from tomorrow pm for the next few days.

    Speaking of which, is Saturday still PAS day at the Basin? I won't be there (school fundraiser + injured foot) but I hope to be better and free enough for a trip on Sunday with my first-born. Still, it'd be kind of nice to look for y'all in the crowd.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7357 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Oh, and Hadyn, we all picked Pitt to go through :-(. Wild game though.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    You know who enjoyed the game? Garth George. How can you defend that test cricket fans?

    I had a profound crisis of faith this morning after seeing that article. Until now I have always lived by Garth's Law - which posits that if Garth George says something is desirable or good, I must oppose that thing with every ounce of my being.

    Mind you, Robert Mugabe is a huge cricket fan too.

    I've seen plenty of cricket draws, and not all of them were memorable. For a while in the late 80s and early 90s it felt like every game we played at home was a draw. On the other hand, I still remember Perth 89/90 when Greatbatch appeared to bat forever to save a game that seemed doomed. I don't think any NZ supporters thought that game was dull.

    The option of a draw is one of the many things that makes the game so appealing. Don't mess with the draw, man!

    Yorke of The Atatu • Since Feb 2009 • 789 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    My work here is done

    In which case, God ain't got nothing on you in the "mysterious ways" stakes.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    I’m pleased the Greatbatch (and Snedden) test got brought up.

    Massive difference between that and last week’s match.

    That pitch at the WACA was deteriorating, as it should, making the last day heroics so memorable.

    There was no challenge in last week’s effort.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Speaking of which, is Saturday still PAS day at the Basin? I won't be there (school fundraiser + injured foot) but I hope to be better and free enough for a trip on Sunday with my first-born. Still, it'd be kind of nice to look for y'all in the crowd.

    Saturday is indeed PAS day. I'm in the process of organising post-cricket drinks (most likely with Epic at the Malthouse). If you can make that it'd be good.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Chapman,

    One of the beauties of test cricket was the evolving unpredictability of a wearing pitch. But it looks like they’re banning that.

    This bias has to stop

    While I do agree with you regarding the near-universal bias towards durable pitches, speaking just about the Napier test, there is good drama in a bowling team having two whole days to winkle the other team out without assistance from the pitch.

    The biggest problem I have with non-wearing pitches is that previously unattainable victory targets can now be chased down, which makes it impossible to set a target.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2008 • 132 posts Report Reply

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