So far, none of the reasons I offered to watch the West Indies Test has come good. That may change today if Darren Bravo and Chanderpaul “come to the party,” as Ravi Shastri would say, but it’s unlikely. We are going to see another India Test victory here, and it’s the most boring kind: a huge 1st innings score, followed by two pointless (and long) days.
Now, I’m a cricket fan. A serious one. So I’ve followed this Test and I’ll see it to its conclusion. I also know enough to try and invent excuses to keep myself interested (yesterday, it was R. Ashwin; today it’ll be Bravo). But would the average fan, stressed in the middle of the week, care to watch this? Why are we putting out a product that we know has only minimal interest for the market?
Other bloggers, all much smarter than I, have offered solutions. Make it easier to get into stadiums. (That includes slashing prices to nothing.) Schedule Tests on the weekend, please. Consider giving each Test some sort of context by creating a Test championship (a pipe dream, this one; the Big 4 — South Africa, Eng, Aus, and Ind — have no incentive to change the current setup, which gives them flexibility to schedule what series they want). I know that at some point, India has to play weak times like Zim, or West Indies or whatever, but can’t we give these games some stakes? The point can’t be, “Let’s give our batsmen practice so they’re ready for the Australians.”
I take that back. That’s not such a bad point. Carry on.