The fact that the number 8 side can dominate the number 2 side should be seen as a positive for the test game IMO. The top sides may not be the best top sides of all time, but there would't have been many eras where the number 8 side could play as well as New Zealand have over the last 4 days.
To answer the originl question, no. Except for RSA most of the other teams could pretty much beat each other which makes for exciting cricket imo. Even RSA (IMO) would be hard done to win in India and away to Pakistan. Great time for cricket.
That the standard of Test cricket at the moment seems to be put down because of the lack of truly dominant standout players confuses me somewhat; isn't the fact that fewer players or indeed are soaring ahead of the pack a good thing for the strength of the game? Sure we don't have as many Pontings or Muralis at the moment but we also don't have as many Matthew Harts or Xavier Marshalls so Test cricket is closer than ever. Closer doesn't always mean the standard is better if we've merely had a drop off in standard from the top nations/players and I get that people are saying that's what we've had here, but I don't think it's just that.
emphatic YES, because the following former constants which made test cricket so intriguing are currently not present:
no current flamboyant great Windies batsmen
no great intimdating Windies fast bowler
no magical Pakistani fast bowler
no current Indian batting great, who is currently still great
no strong Australian team
It's also one of the reasons I think the whole "test cricket is dying thing" that the media like to throw at us every month or so, isn't going to come to fruition. That results are so unpredictable, and most series are pretty close, makes the game much more interesting for the majority of countries. If it were just Australia and England dominating everyone else then the interest in the game for those countries may wane.
It is hard to judge isn't it.. Standard of cricket. It is easier to judge the Standard of competition and that is definitely high at the moment.
While its sad no one's really head and shoulders above the rest I reckon we are still good for some compelling close fought series if one or two teams address the gaps in their line ups
There definitely aren't so many outstanding players as there were, and those that there are tend to be less extravagant both in personality and the way they play the game, but that's not the same as the overall standard dropping
Tests are a lot more interesting nowadays. Except in Lanka, boring draws have almost completely been eliminated. There is no overwhelmingly dominant team like Australia or Windies. SA are getting there but still have a long way to go.
As far as the quality of players go, I would wait for a few more years before pronouncing judgments on the quality of players in the current era. In the 90s, we knew we had damn good players, but those reputations were built over time and the same players were elevated to greats and legends based on their performances in matches also played in the late 90s and early 2000s.
There is every possibility that players from the current crop (ABDV, Amla, Kohli, Pujara, Bravo, Kane, Junaid, Finn etc) may reach that level in the coming years.
I also think there is a tendency to only remember the great players from past eras, and less so the average players. People may look back on this era and remember the likes of Steyn, Philander, KP, Clarke, Chanderpual, Sanga, Amla, Ajmal as well as others who might go on to be great such as Southee, Boult, Roach. Greats from a wide variety of teams.
^ +1. Nostalgia is a cognitive bias. There were so many crappy players in the 90s who fell by the wayside because of their mediocrity and the only ones who are repeatedly referenced in cricketing articles, old youtube cricketing clips are the greats.
It is in a way very unfair to the modern day cricketer to be constantly considered inferior while being compared to the cream of the preceeding generations.
Lol, unfashionable team gives big fancy team a scare. Test cricket is now ****.
Crawl back in your hole and go **** to some Jeff Thomson books where he claimed he bowled 300kph you miserable sod.
Love test cricket atm ftr, and not just because NZ are doing okay in this series. The past few years have been so unpredictable and we've seen some great tests.
Best innings has to be Clarke's 150 in SA where he played the much vaunted dominant innings against the best attack on a green top, something claimed to have occurred in every other innings in the 70s and 80s but didn't.
But test cricket is at its lowest ebb so Clarke can go suck a fat one obvz.
Flem unleashing here.