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Even with T20 cricket gathering most of the attention in the current scenario due to the quickness of the game, big hitting and euphoria that goes alongside, Test cricket, for most romantics, remains the best format of the game. Tests bring into question a team’s resilience, patience and consistency over the course of a lengthy period. The format has seen matches played in six days and the current format of five days. There are even discussions of reducing it to four days to continue to appeal to the millennials with wavering attention spans.
This celebration of Test cricket is captured by Wednesday, March 15th’s, Google doodle. It sees six colourful cricketers performing different activities on a cricket field. The first official Test is considered to have begun on March 15, 1877 and it witnessed England and Australian teams go head-to-head at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The contest finished on 19 March with the Aussies winning by 45 runs. In the second Test, England came back to level the series. Later this rivalry between England and Australia came to be known as the Ashes with the competition beginning 1882.
In the first Test that began on 1:05 PM, Australia’s Charles Bannerman scored the first ever runs in the format with a single. He remained the dominant figure in the contest scoring 165 runs in the first innings but with an injured index finger, he was dismissed for four in the second innings. Australia scored 245 and 104 in the two innings while England produced 196 in the first and chasing 153 runs for the win, they scored 108 to lose by 45 runs. This match saw attendance surging to nearly 12,000.
There is previous history of cricket too involving USA, Canada and New Zealand but the contest between USA and Canada was never considered an official Test match.