Calling Gabba draw “a fantastic contest” insult to Test cricket

Noted cricket commentator Peter Roebuck has said that dismissal of just two batsmen in the last two days of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba is not good Test cricket.

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“Despite its records and changes of mood the Gabba Test ended in a dull draw. Certainly it had its ups and downs but distant observers will conclude that the pitch was flat, the bowling weak, the ball soft and the last few days hardly worth the bother,” Roebuck wrote in his syndicated column for the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Sessions passed without a wicket falling. People went to work and came back and found the same fellows in occupation. Two men were dismissed on the last two days. It is not good enough.”

“After the match, captains and commentators alike talked about a fantastic contest. And it did contain some memorable moments, individual triumphs that told of a human journey reaching its destination. Certainly the batting was impressive and a hat-trick was taken, yet to call the match exciting was to stretch a point,” he added.

Roebuck further stressed that Test cricket played in the Indian sub-continent was not one that Australia should adopt. Tests on the subcontinent often produce lop-sided scorecards so that they become a collection of figures leading nowhere. If the habit spreads to Australia then the game is digging its own grave,” Roebuck wrote.

“Results are important. The contest between bat and ball needs to be hard fought. Sport relies on the unwritten script, the power of the unpredictable. Tension is its lifeblood,” he added.


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