I've Tried. I Don't Get It. What's The Attraction of Test Cricket?

Try to convince me that test cricket is worth watching.

I don't get the attraction.

The only thing worse than test cricket is test cricket commentary on the radio.

Hit me up with a reason to watch test cricket.


  • +44


  • +9

    It’s like watching a golf tournament. 😴

    • +3

      That's actually good to watch… (to fall asleep). It's almost as good as counting sheep!

    • -8

      or a f1 race

      • +7

        Not 2021 season, most races this season were very entertaining. Especially last lap of the last race of the season.

        • Entertaining, but still a shit show.

        • Absolutely mate. That was epic! England 2nd innings of the 3rd test felt same(if you are an Aussie fan). I don’t think everyone get all the sports, but if someone else is enjoying and I am not, I am definitely missing the joy that sport give to that person. It’s just a matter of wanting it and digging in.

      • +2

        F1 vs Ball and stick entertainment


        In one sport, the athlete has to handle 6G, ~350kms/h & up to 180G in a crash, in the other, the athlete handles a keg the night before.

        • +1

          Ever had a cricket ball aimed at your head at 130kmh plus? Not for the faint hearted either.

          • @Hardlyworkin: I mean if you're gonna play knifey spoony, who's the tough guy thing; the stick and ball handlers aren't really in the stratosphere of risk of death or serious injury when they walk on the pitch/fairways. It's not like the stick holder is moving at 130kmh. Plus they wear helmets, gloves, padding and a box?

            • @RatBargain: Not the same risk of death though padding only does so much. It's also a sport that isn't exclusive. It's not a rich person's sport where you have a massive advantage in getting a seat as daddy is a billionaire. Who's getting the spare seat next F1 season, the rich kid or the better driver?

              • @Hardlyworkin: Money, power an influence definitely helps in any sport. To a greater extent of course F1 - it's the pinnacle of motorsport, engineering, telemetry, strategy, money, luck and teamwork. With that there's the glamour and big rewards

                But now if the shifted goal post of a "good sport" is rags to riches, Esteban Occon's family slept in a caravan several years ago, Sebastian Vettel's dad was a carpenter, Fernando Alonso's dad was a mechanic and mum was a department store worker and Kimi Räikkönen's dad was a road worker and taxi driver. Lewis Hamiltons dad worked in IT, took on a second job and re-mortgaged his house

                4 multiple world champions in that list

                Even for cricket, if you have the money, power, influence, sponsorship or media connections to access elite ex-player private coaches, scouts, team selectors, junior games at a young age, you would also have a better chance of turning pro. A cricketer's success and selection in high profile teams isn't immune from corruption and money

              • @Hardlyworkin: Also, as you mentioned it's accessible to almost anyone, it also means little Darren and Trevor having a bat in front of the wheelie bin down the end of the court isn't that much different to a Sat night at the SCG or Gabba

                The visual glamour and spectacle isn't there. MAYBE they have nicer shoes and sharper fitting clothes? ;)

    • +10

      The only thing worse than no TV is Golf on TV.

  • +47

    I'm a huge fan. I've played the game for decades and look forward to every summer. Imagine a game you love so much and it goes for up to 5 days! As for the commentary, what other world sport can they discuss an apple pie for an hour on the radio in amongst the ball by ball coverage.

    • +8

      But it's so sloooow. Do you watch it with mates or content to watch it by yourself?

      • +20

        By myself with everyone else in the house moaning. It's is a game that does take a long time to understand the rules and nuances. I would start with 20-20 and gradually move to test cricket. Once you are hooked, test match cricket becomes your craving.

      • +4

        Me and dad watch it. But U really just gotta be a fan of it mate to be into it. I find soccer slow and boring. Cricket is slow but we just get into and enjoy the commentary more. It's just preference. Watch the 20/20 match that's a faster one and they hit 6s alot.

        • Cricket is slow

          5 day game

          I find soccer slow and boring.

          1hr 30min game

          Wait a minute, logic doesn't add up

          • @twig: In soccer, the ball can go from one end to the other, with no-one scoring for an hour or more.

            In cricket, batters are scoring runs, boundaries, getting out etc. Actual stuff that matters is unfolding constantly.

            There aren't many sports where a stadium full of people, can watch a game for 6-7 hours and still be screaming and cheering for the final few overs. Happened literally a few days ago at the MCG.

            Probably a better way to consider it is that Test cricket has a lot of material to get through - with 11 batsmen on each time getting to bat twice each (potentially).

            Whereas Soccer 30 second highlights can typically capture the key events of a game.

      • +11

        Some people like to watch traffic lights change colour or like to watch paint dry - and there are others who like to watch cricket.

        It's a personal choice.

      • -1

        Slow is the reason I can't stand it. Great when I need to sleep. I'll get hate for this, but T20 is actually great to watch. Fast paced. They swing at every ball.

        • +13

          Test cricket is the bomb. It’s a war, a marathon. It’s theatre but unscripted. Every part of the game has its own different game of cat and mouse. Once your invested in the long haul it’s gripping to the end. Think about it like making love to the hottest girl on earth… do you want it to be over in 10 seconds or want it to go for days. That’s Test Cricket! T20 is lame. Same result happens every game. One team make a score and the other team either makes it or doesn’t. If u like poker you can compare it to that… the best of the best are the World Series that goes for days as opposed to ur quick sit and go games that last 2 hours. I could go on….

      • +1

        Rarely watch it by itself. Do something else at the same time. Look up when the TV gets loud.

      • It helps if you have played it also to appreciate watching the game.

    • +2

      I also played for decades from U10's onwards… Been to more days at the SCG than I can remember as a kid..but I cant watch it anymore.. Maybe a quick glance to the scores couple of times a day

      These days I find it slow and the commentators are biased, annoying rambling idiots compared to the 80/90s talking about what they are wearing and shit like that.

      Norman May on teh ABC was one of the best commentators in the 70/80s - along the same lines as Richie - if you have nothing useful to say, say nothing.

      Then theres so much corruption in sport these days, I have issues trusting most international sports, or any diveballs…

      I guess your tastes change with age..

      I would start with 20-20… and just stay there.

      • +1

        I agree with the commentating but recently found Lisa to be a stand out

      • +1

        Well said regarding the pathetic use of commentating as late. These days they seem to feel the need to speak whenever they can. 99% of the time it is useless drivel. This goes for tennis and AFL too.

        I used to love watching the cricket on a hot summer's day. The long periods of silence by the commentators filled in with bat on ball sounds was almost meditative.

    • for the commentary

      Might just be me but I feel like the quality of commentary has dropped a bit. 10-20 years ago was the peak. Richie Benaud actually had some background in journalism which helped.

  • +14


    Hit me up with a reason to watch cricket.

    • Limited overs I can tolerate (sort of)

      • +1

        Test cricket is more like marathon running, where T20 is your 200m sprint. With test cricket I guess what you're watching is how much endurance and focus the players can put out - it isn't for everyone in the same way that long distance running isn't.

        Find I appreciate it better when I look at it through the scope of endurance or strategy, but test cricket is definitely a thing you watch passively in our house, rather than glued to the screen for consecutive dot ball #579

    • Just watch 20 20 cricket, it's more fun

      • Agreed!

  • +25

    Day drinking is a bit more acceptable when also during watching cricket

  • +11

    If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. You don’t have to like it but don’t put it down as boring cause I know about a billion people that don’t agree.
    I can’t tolerate watching tennis or basketball, but good luck to you if you do.

    • +6

      watching tennis or basketball,

      they are just as bad… :P

      • +2

        Only watching the NBA is close to exciting, but these days its all 3 balls so it is getting a bit boring unless you are really into it.

        If you want exciting, watch the UFC. However violent sports isn't every ones cup of tea.

        • +1

          I don't get UFC either… beating and stomping on people is entertaining ??
          boxing, punch (profanity) out of each other for 15 rounds then shake hands…

          I'll stick to moto2/MotoGP and wsbk.. :)~

          • @pharkurnell: I'll stick to moto2/MotoGP and wsbk.. :)~

            Yeah moto2/motoGP is so boring. Car/motorbike racing is about as exciting as watching cycling. I guess at least the tour de france you get to see some nice parts of France.

          • +1

            @pharkurnell: It's a very visceral thing that either appeals to you or doesn't sure, and for most fans that's probably the level of engagement, but for those who are quite into combat sports there is another level of very complicated tactical and strategic interaction.

            As an aside, boxing doesn't do 15 rounds anymore. It's a max of 12 rounds as of…80s?

    • +4

      I know about a billion people that don’t agree.

      Impossible, name them.

      • +5

        Google up the population of India.

      • +1

        Consult the Indian white pages and get back to me.

  • +29

    For me, a test match is a game of strategy, skill and endurance. Over the 5 days, the pitch changes, the weather changes, the strength of the players changes. And they need to adapt to it. In limited overs, an individual could win it for the team. But in tests, the team usually needs to come together and implement the strategy to win.
    But yeah, good test matches are harder to come by nowadays. But the good ones are amazing to watch. The ones which see-saw between the teams and go almost to the last hour, are a treat to watch!

    • +7

      This is the thing for me. A delicately poised game can see the ascendency switch back and forth several times in a few overs.
      A bowler can deny a batsman and build mental pressure.
      A change in the field can change the flow of the match.

      I quite like watching T20 or limited overs to see the athleticism, the smash of the ball for a six, but give me a 5 day test any day.

      And you can listen to it on the radio while you are doing stuff like painting etc.
      Or you can occupy the couch and the fridge for a couple of days.

    • I enjoy watching Shane Warne's spin.

    • This is the best answer. I know no other sport where fitness, skills, endurance, strategy, the venue and even the weather and season all becomes a factor in the game. Now of course not all matches are like this, but the few that are, are worth to die for watching and imprints a memory of lifetime. For me it was the 2nd test between India vs Australia at Eden Gardens, Calcutta, 2001.

      • I know no other sport where fitness, skills, endurance, strategy, the venue and even the weather and season all becomes a factor in the game.

        Basically any endurance sport. Tour De France, Motorsport endurance racing, like 24 hour Le Mans

  • +9

    I doubt that there any converts to Test cricket. You have to be born into it. I can't stand any of the short forms of cricket.

    • +3

      Here here. T20 is a money making scheme. Get in. Spend ur cash and get out. No one cares or remembers who won BBL7 but most ppl that follow test cricket can reel off who won the ashes during the years they’ve been alive

  • +2

    It's like the CC commercial, it's summer and we need to watch test cricket and drink beer. My dad done it and so is his dad as well.

    Then again I like playing soccer but I hate watching it, maybe finials of WC soccer.

  • stick to 20/20
    I use to play cricket but not sure i can watch a whole test match
    although the ashes is ok, so many wickets it's like watch 20/20 when the poms bat lol

  • +8

    It's right up there with the World Paint Drying Championships and the International Grass Growing competition.

  • +2

    I wonder if many of the responses by ozbargainers reflect their shopping habits. The 20-20's love it hard and fast, while the test match lovers play the long game.

    • I think someone shined your balls on the wrong side…

  • +12

    Whats the attraction of any sport ? You are either into it or you are not, not all sports are for all people.

    • So true. What’s one’s favourite hobby/liking/sport may be sufferingly boring to another. We all should know by now that we are all different.

    • You can bet on sport! That’s a decent attraction

  • +5

    It's the best form of competitive cricket. If you don't like cricket, you won't like test cricket.

  • +1

    A few years back I went to a Boxing day match at the G with some guys I met from overseas. Cricket is boring as bat shit and lucky I'm into beers and can sink a few to get me through the day.
    Worse experience ever by far.

    I love playing the sport in my backyard or down a mates driveway using garbo bins as wickets. Watching the sport is a different experience.

    I can't see how some can sit at a sporting venue for over 6 hours watching a game with zero estatic moments. It's not like soccer (also boring) where there is at least a shot on goal for some excitement, or tennis where long rallies build the hype to a winner shot or an unforced error.
    Cricket also doesn't really have superstar athletes that can really build up hype for the sport. It's not like people come to watch a specific batsmen, like it is in tennis where people will follow Federer around the world.

    The other problem is hardly any women watch it. Mostly men with their mono audio AM radios tuned to 3AW enjoy watching it.

    • +6

      hardly any women watch it

      As far as sports go, I feel as though a higher than average number of women watch it - particularly with the proliferation of women's cricket.

      • +5

        No superstars.

        Brian lara, Tendulkar, sand paper smith, chris gayle?

        • -3

          Do any of these guys have a mass following to give them superstar status? I'm sure they're good at their game, but that's the difference with cricket. Most general sporting viewers know the likes of Federer, LeBron or Ronaldo. Naming a top cricket player is like naming a politician. Only those in the know would know.

          Sandpaper Smith? The guy famous for ball tampering whilst leading the Australian team

          • +1

            @yellowfever: Mention Kohli, Tendulkar or Dhoni in India and you'll be hard-pressed to find one person who doesn't know them.

          • +1

            @yellowfever: lol there billions more who knows the names kohli tendular dhoni than federer lebron or ronaldo in india

      • Men usually drive the popularity of any sport. Without their viewership, a sport would suffer a slow death wrt to $$$$

  • There's very few events that will justify doing nothing but drinking beers for 5 days.

    • And that's just the p̶l̶a̶y̶e̶r̶s̶ athletes

  • -1

    It keeps the mother in law away, that’s all that matters :).
    When the games are evenly balanced it’s great to watch, but the key question is do you like cricket in the first place? Also great for having a nap during and not missing much of it. What has ruined test cricket now is the high pitched female commentators, I wish they would get off it.

    • two karens got offended

  • +3

    "I've Tried. I Don't Get It. What's The Attraction of [insert.sport.game.here]?"

    lets see….

    american football

    • Something tells me he/she doesn't 'do' sport.

      So if you don't do, or you don't play, then you're not really a fan, thus 'don't get it'. Most people don't play Golf, most people don't like to watch it. However, some don't play a sport, yet can be entertained and can sit through a game. This is probably where you sit OP.

      Are you an only child OP?
      Grew up in the City?
      Didn't do a sport outside of School in your day?
      It's no Biggie…do what entertains you.

      Lets not over think it…It's a game, you either like it or you're not fussed.

    • Put $50 on a game of baseball.. bet u won’t be able to take ur eye off it

  • Alcohol

  • -1

    Who has the time? I've got a job I've got family and friends.

  • +5

    It is watching the pinnacle of the sport. It is watching a war of attrition. It is watching a sport where being the captain comes with a lot of decisions and added pressure. It is watching a battle between talent and mental strength.

    It is different and it is not for everyone.

  • +1

    As others have said, you probably need to have grown up with it to really appreciate it, although I have a French friend of lives here, and loves it.

    Test cricket is a bit like the marathon. It's long-term strategy, digging in, and sustained concentration and energy. Great summer TV viewing, as you can have it going all day, and watch it between things, or settle in and chill out.

    Favourite okder commentators were Norman and Keith "he's bowling from the bar end [sound of tinnie being opened]', Richie Benaud, and the incomparable Henry Bloefeld. More recently, Gilchrist is pretty good now, and Isa Guha does a great job.

  • +8

    I mainly like to watch test cricket, I don’t watch other forms of the game and don’t watch other sport at all.
    And yes, enjoy what is essentially the slow parts.
    It’s like a game of chess, with lots of strategy being enacted, often nested inside different tactics. I choose not to bore you with endless detail, but the detail in Test cricket is the key and it can take some time to get across this. I really enjoy it.

    The other aspect of Test cricket feeds into the other great Aussie sport that we excel at as a Nation - sitting around with any like-minded individuals and turning beer into [email protected]….. Go to a Test match sometime and watch the crowd. Test matches pace this quite well.
    Not to my taste, but the thousands of ‘Members’ that go to Adelaide tests, but rarely sit in the stands enjoy their day….

    I do not suggest that you force yourself to understand the detail, history, rules and tactics of test cricket. (We get to watch 2 teams slowly go at it later this year and you have to participate by voting at the end.)

    As the great poet said
    ‘To each his own,
    It’s all unknown,
    If dogs run free….’

  • +4

    It's meant to be watched while you're on holiday in summer and the heat is making you dopey and sleepy. Take a break. Go for a swim. Have a nap. Back to the cricket. Repeat.

  • Eat, drink, Test Cricket score check, sleep, repeat!

  • Are cricket Australia even doing any gold coin days this year? We went to Australia vs India for $2 a few years ago.
    Best thing about test matches

    • -3

      That happened a long time ago, off the back of a on-field controversy.
      Whats the point in still holding on to it or even bringing it up after all these years.

  • My wife was moping because our Channel 7 in Perth wasn't working again (we live in a dip and reception is intermittent). They were only showing the scorecard on catchup.
    I discovered that they were streaming the cricket on Kayo https://kayosports.com.au/
    She signed up for the 14 day free trial, and is now enjoying the cricket and also the darts (Kayo streams some of the Foxtel channels).
    She's absolutely loving it, especially as it is too hot to go out at present with our Perth heatwave, and we have to wear masks too, thanks to that unvaccinated French backpacker who brought covid into WA.
    After the free trial, it is $25 a month. We used to have Foxtel a couple of years ago at about $120 a month, so we still consider $25 a month cheap.

    • -1

      and we have to wear masks too,

      How ever will you cope…

    • +1

      Find someone in the classified section to share an account with and or find a way to get the $15 a month Telstra offer.

  • -3

    A ball game that should have died out years ago. Only through bellowing commentators, and creative graphics, do the gullible remain loyal.

  • +3

    When things are very one-sided test cricket can be pretty boring.

    I think it's an "acquired" taste.
    T20 and ODI's are good way to get into the game. If you don't find T20 and ODI's entertaining then test cricket is not for you.

    Test cricket its one of those things to have in the background. The twist and turns in the game is what makes test cricket super interesting, when it's not one-sided. You can have one side seem to have a solid edge after session and then see some amazing come backs.

    • when it's not one-sided

      That goes with every sport.

      The big bash match on now is so one sided… Lost all interest in watching it.

  • Matty Hayden would slap you in the face with this attitude!

  • +2

    Any sport that goes for 5 days and can end in a draw is not worth watching. Imagine watching a game for 4 and a half days and then praying for rain so that the match doesn't get a result.

    At least play till you get a result FFS. If that was the case teams wouldn't put the slows on and most matches would be over in 4 days and test cricket might be more interesting.

    Imagine a Wimbledon final or the Masters golf being called off because it rained on the last day with no result.

    • Imagine watching a game for 4 and a half days and then praying for rain so that the match doesn't get a result.

      How is that not a nail-biter??

      Are we due for a new ball?

      How far down the batting order are they??

      Bring in some pace bowlers? A leg spinner? Maybe a few overs from the captain??

      OMG you've pretty much described the ultimate match. Half a day to go and it's threatening rain.

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