Articles

Why I hope the Oval Test is a draw

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2017 by kmflett

Why I hope the Oval Test is a draw

Of course it would be good if England won the Oval Test on Monday, a tribute perhaps particularly to the impact of new entrant Toby Roland Jones.

However with South Africa on 117-4 overnight facing a target of 492 there is a case for hoping for a draw.

Drawn matches at international level have been in decline in recent years. One take from the Guardian is here:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/04/drubbings-draws-test-cricket-the-spin-andy-bull

No lesser authority than, ahem, Geoffrey Boycott noted on Test Match Special on Sunday that a drawn match requires a special skill and it’s not one that should be discarded.

If a side is able to draw a match against the odds, it gives them a momentum even though they haven’t won.

It’s part of what CLR James described in Beyond and Boundary as part of the ebb and flow of cricket which mirrors how life in general goes on.

As a trade union officer, for example, I hope for ‘victory’ over employers. But often a draw works as well. A win-win gives those I represent something but allows the ‘other side’ a chance to feel that they have also got something. Who has really got the better of it only becomes clear over time and is arguably the more enduring because of that on many occasions.Why

Of course in cricket the bias of media interest and money in the sport has been for the result. That is certainly what limited over cricket is about.

Yet in the 5 day form of the game, a draw can be the more interesting and satisfying outcome. Reflecting a balance of forces between sides that is yet to be finally decided. It’s what makes long form cricket such a fascinating game, beyond just surface excitement, although as we’ve seen at the Oval there can be plenty of that too.

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