Last day, last session, last test. Momentum shifting on a dime, any side cannot be counted out. They say test cricket is one of the most boring sports to watch. Hours upon hours of balls being thrown and no result coming out of it. Yet somehow, this single game has drawn the attention of 60 million+ cricket fans worldwide. It doesn’t take much knowledge of the game, what does pitch mean? What is a cover drive? What is swing? So many variables, yet one thing stays the same: the tension riding on a single match.

Every couple of years, India and Australia send their best players to compete in a “tour” series of cricket, traveling all over Australia playing matches and competing for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy – named after two of the best players in Indian and Australian cricket history. These matches of cricket can span over different multiple different formats. Players can compete in 5-day test matches, 1-day ODIs, or even T20 games that last a couple of hours; however, the baseline stays the same across them all. The team with the most runs at the end wins.


India has come into this final day of the test cricket match injury-ridden, without their captain, and filled with inexperienced rookies on their debut. Nonetheless, somehow this game is still close. Somehow, there is still a possibility for a win to come out of this game. Keeping us at the edge of our seats – when will the next wicket fall? Classy batting vs. nail-biting deliveries flying in at 140kph. The Australians are prodding, prying, searching, and hoping for something to happen. Something to stand up to their historical dominance in this arena. Ironically, it is history that has betrayed them today. Just 24 short hours ago, balls were getting thrown which way and about. Completely unpredictable. Unfortunately for the Australians, that is not the case today. 


The story of these young men competing starts with their mentality. Often as a result of modern era cricket where big hitters are rewarded from short, fast-paced matches, we often forget the beauty of the tactical shootout that a test match brings. We can see the testing of the players’ patience in this game. So many stories from the rock of Pujara, to the 8th wicket stand of 100 runs that brought India back into this very match when it was getting away from them. And, of course, Nathan Lyons’s 100th test match. As a young fan of the sport myself, I have not taken such intent in watching a match in quite a while, other than the occasional highlight clips.


This match has been shortened due to rain delays, lessening the time each side has to pull off their respective outcomes. Will there be enough time for India to chase down all 300 runs? Or will the world class Australian men be able to get all of the Indians out? This series has been truly phenomenal. Yes, having blowouts are not particularly enjoyable for the losing side. However, each side has experienced such blows, ending the series at a 1-1 draw. Coming off a hard-fought escape, India was able to draw the match in Sydney, keeping the series at bay from which Australia probably should have taken it. Will that be the case here today? 


Just the day before, we witnessed many consequential decisions take effect. At exactly which point will Australia declare*? Was it too long or too short? Under all this scrutiny, they have shown up to play. So many questions are looming. Welcome to a moment in history.