Test cricket is one of the most challenging forms to play in for any cricketer. And it’s not a stretch to suggest that this is the only format in which a player’s character is truly tested. After a five-day toil, a close match concludes that one team is all grins, while the other is broken in the changing room.
The allure of a tight finish in Tests is unrivaled. Tests, unlike limited-overs games, provide players a longer opportunity to experience the classic ebbs and flows that make a compelling match. Teams can start off strong and continue that way for nearly two days, but with only one hour of bad batting, they can lose their lead.
Teams, on the other hand, maybe evenly matched nearly until the conclusion of the game, but all it takes is one good partnership or a few breakthroughs to swing the tide.
1.England vs Australia – 2005
One of the most closely contested in Test cricket, this dramatic game featured the Aussies, who, to their dismay, lost. The Australians won the toss and elected to bat first against the Englishmen. They took advantage of the situation and scored 407 runs in the first inning. When the Australians stepped out to bat, they fell short of expectations, as their line-up was bowled out for just 308 runs by England’s bowlers. The Australians suffered yet another setback, falling two runs short of their target of 279 runs.
England had won a nail-biter by two runs, kicking off a run that would see them win the Ashes series 2-1. Australia had hauled themselves back into the game twice: once by bowling England out cheaply in the second innings, and again in their second innings’ final two partnerships. However, England’s outstanding first-inning performance with bat and ball just about gave them the margin they needed to win.
2.India vs Australia – 1986
In the mid-1980s, Australia was a fairly average squad that was struggling due to the loss of key players. India, as usual, was a difficult team to beat at home. The first Test in Madras had some incredible performances and a thrilling conclusion. Dean Jones, who was exhausted in the Chennai heat after scoring a courageous 210, was hospitalized for dehydration. In the second innings, Australia built a 347-run advantage and handed India a difficult job, but with ample time to give the home team a chance. And the home squad was happy to comply. The Indian team was on the verge of winning this historic Test until they were reduced to 331 for the loss of six wickets by the Australian spinners, who bowled India out for 347.
3.Australia v West Indies – 1993
The West Indies won the toss and elected to bat first in a match won by the smallest margin ever. They reached 252 runs thanks to a strong opening stand and support from the middle-order batsmen. The Australians reached 213 runs in their first innings because of Curtly Ambrose’s strong bowling performance, which included six wickets. The West Indies scored 146 runs in their second innings after taking a 39-run lead. The Australians appeared to be in excellent shape until they suffered a setback. Sir Curtly Ambrose’s fury struck once more, as his four wickets destroyed Australia.
4.England Vs Australia – 1982
Australia led the series 2-0 going into the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne in 1982 and needed 292 runs in the last innings to win the series at home. From the outset of the game, everything went Australia’s way. They were given the toss and elected to bat first. Victor Trumper’s century, which brought them to 299 runs, was one of the major positives for them. Fast bowler Norman Cowans, on the other hand, bowled a superb spell of 6-77 to put frequent holes in the Australian batting, causing them to fall 3 runs short. Alan Border was the last man standing in this tight pursuit, but his determined and unbroken 62 wasn’t enough.
5.New Zealand Vs Pakistan – 2018
Pakistan was cruising at 130-3 at one point in the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi, chasing a comparatively simple 176 runs for the win. However, debutant left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel’s stunning 5-59 stint broke their backs and led in yet another notorious Pakistani batting collapse. They were finally bowled out for 171 runs, and the Test was lost by 4 runs.