The natural thrill for any fan is to witness balls flying in the air and to see interesting characters on the field. Of course, Test cricket has its own attributes that interest the viewers. Nevertheless, for a few, the five-day format is largely ‘boring’ as there is less ‘action’ happening. This format is more a test of a player’s grit and determination. That said, a few cricketers have graced this version to add a different flavour. In this article, we look at five cricketers who made Test cricket more entertaining.
1) Virender Sehwag (India)
Tests: Matches – 104 || Runs – 8586 || Average – 49.34 || Strike Rate – 82.23
A player with six Test double-hundreds and two triple-centuries in his career, Virender Sehwag‘s approach was simple. He wanted to score as many runs as possible and as quickly as it was probable. This tactic saw no difference even if the colour of the jersey changed.
When Sehwag was at the crease, you know something could happen next ball. There will be a high chance the cherry would touch the ropes. This is an exciting spot to be for a viewer. For Sehwag, he saw an opportunity in every delivery. Such a strategy was fresh in the red-ball format. The fact that he reached his triple-hundreds and double-hundreds with a six showed that this mindset was built within him. Hence, he was entertaining for the fans.
2) Virat Kohli (India)
Tests: Matches – 94 || Runs – 7609 || Average – 51.41 || Strike Rate – 7609
Virat Kohli is one of the cricketers who made Test cricket more entertaining. Although his application and approach are solid for the red-ball game, it is character and the energy that he brings to the field which has made him a popular entertainer in world cricket.
The Indian player with the most Test double-hundreds, Virat’s passion for the game is unmatchable. He also knows how to engage the crowd and interacts with them if fielding near the boundary. Of course, the way he celebrates his personal achievement and that of his teammates, Virat’s character was very much required for the game.
3) Brendon McCullum (New Zealand)
Tests: Matches – 101 || Runs – 6453 || Average – 38.64 || Strike Rate – 64.60
Described by himself as ”brash”, we don’t find a better word to talk about Brendon McCullum‘s batting. Like Sehwag, Bazz was known for his attacking game, although the Kiwi also managed to ace the ‘patience game’ in the format. He once batted for 775 minutes, the same knock in which he scored 302.
At the same time, he also has one of the fastest hundreds in the format to his name. With 107 career sixes, McCullum stands at the top of the pile in this statistic. For a viewer, watching the Kiwi meant value for their money as an entertaining event was around the corner.
4) Adam Gilchrist (Australia)
Tests: Matches – 96 || Runs – 5570 || Average – 47.60 || Strike Rate – 81.95
One of the most destructive openers in ODIs, Adam Gilchrist also carried the destructiveness to Test cricket, although he operated in a different role. Batting in the lower middle-order, Gilly has changed many games with the bat from that slot.
Including 100 sixes and a strike rate of 81.95, the Aussie keeper, on most occasions, had the license to go for the big shots. He did with aplomb and entertained viewers with some action in a Test encounter.
5) Curtly Ambrose (West Indies)
Tests: Matches – 98 || Wickets – 405 || Average – 20.99
Like most West Indians, Curtly Ambrose came with a swag that initially stood out in the white background. A tall figure, Ambrose’s deliveries use to drop in from almost 10 feet, which was a sight that got fans glued to the proceedings. Add to this the menace that he brought, Ambrose’s cricketing skills were alone enough for him to be called an ‘entertainer’.
His character, too, was different. He remained silent and was popular with the dialogue “Curtly talk to no man”. Ambrose’s hand-jiving wicket celebration was also one of the entertaining facets of his game. Hence, he is one of the cricketers who made Test cricket more entertaining.