Test cricket spanned over five days can test even spectators’ patience. But there are some Test cricketers who have livened up the game just with their presence. And when on song, they used to make Test entertaining with their brand of cricket. Cricwizz looks into few of those cricketers who made Test cricket exciting and entertaining.
Virender Sehwag: Be it Tests, ODIs, or T20s, former Indian cricketer, Virender Sehwag played all formats of the game in the same manner. He attacked from the word go. It did not matter, if it was the first or last ball, or he was batting on 0, 99, or 299. Sehwag always looked to get a big score with a big hit, and lost few centuries due to that. But nevertheless, Sehwag’s free-scoring ability made Test cricket extremely entertaining. He was a make-shift opener in Test cricket, and enjoyed phenomenal success in that position by playing his brand of cricket. He is the only Indian to crack two triple tons in Test cricket. Besides, he made victories possible due to his quick scoring rate. He was a treat to watch when he was on song.
Adam Gilchrist: The former Australian cricketer was a skilled batsman who kept team ahead of self, coming to bat lower down the order. If the team needed quick runs, Gilchrist would go all guns out blazing. And if the team required someone to grind out and build a partnership after a top-order failure, he was the go-to man. His presence in the lower-middle order made Australia a champion team. His wicket-keeping was of top-class. He has taken some unbelievable catches in his career.
Shoaib Akhtar: The sight of Shoaib Akhtar steaming from almost the boundary line to bowl his thunderbolts was all theatrics written over it. His aggression, his passion, his skills made a great combination. He was a treat to watch when on song. Even when his bowling went for runs, it made a great spectacle as batsmen had to conjure something magical to score runs off his bowling.
VVS Laxman: The classic flick to mid-wicket, the lovely cover drives and the ability to score runs under pressure made VVS Laxman quite a special cricketer. Most of this Test knocks have come under extremely difficult situations when India were all but out. Who can forget the magical 281 Laxman scored against Australia at Eden Gardens in 2001. What made him extra special was his ability to bat with the tail and score valuable runs or help India to victory in their company.
Shane Warne: The burly Australian spinner made Test cricket exciting as he made the batsmen dance to his turning deliveries. Warne was a big turner of the ball. He had a great cricketing brain which he used to fox the batsmen out with his variations. His lazy bowling stride – walking to the crease and rolling his arm over the head and twisting his body while delivering – made for a great spectacle. His presence in the team was one of the key to Australia’s success during their reign as No 1 Test team.
Sachin Tendulkar: The Indian carried the burden of a billion hopes on his shoulders. Much before Sehwag, Laxman or Dravid came into their own to shoulder the batting responsibility, Tendulkar used to fight a lone battle most of the time. His walk to the middle used to lift the whole stadium up and the chant of “Sachin!” “Sachin!” would resound all across the ground. Tendulkar was quite consistent in Test cricket, scoring 51 centuries overall. But he also provided equal dose of entertainment with his batting and runs off the wicket.