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New book on India-Australia cricket exchanges focuses on Tests
New Delhi, January 6, 2021
A new book, dedicated to cricket exchanges between India and Australia, looks to focus on the importance of Test cricket.
Titled "India's 71-Year Test: The Journey to Triumph in Australia", the new Bradman Museum book, released in Sydney on Wednesday by India coach Ravi Shastri, focuses on two teams engaged in a regal battle that catches the attention of the cricket world.
According to a press release by Bradman Museum, the book reflects on India’s first 12 tours to Australia – from 1947/48, to face Don Bradman’s side, tracing the evening out of a rivalry dominated by the host nation until the turn of the Millennium.
Introducing the book, Shastri, who was the coach when India won its first Test series win in Australia in 2018/19, tipped a fiercely competitive two Tests to come this Australian summer. Shastri, also the first Indian batsman to make a Test double-century in Australia, wroted in his foreword, “There is no such thing as a weak Australian team. Australians hate losing, and it’s a thought process entertained not just by the 11 on the field, but the whole nation, the fans and the media. When a team tours Australia, there is a combined assault like no other.”
Having grown up listening to commentary by the likes of Alan McGilvray, Shastri rated Australia as easily the “best country” he has toured, inspiring visitors with a desire to win when faced with the toughest all-round test they will ever encounter.
The book has been authored by R. Kaushik, one of India's most respected cricket writers. He has covered more than 100 Tests involving India and he writes in the book, “pink-ball day-night Tests and the ICC World Test Championship are necessary steps in the right direction. They can, however, achieve the desired objective only if the sport's leaders re-affirm their commitment to cricket's most demanding and least forgiving prototype.”
Being a traditionalist and lover of the five-day format, Kaushik says, “It is therefore incumbent upon Australia, India and England - the three most influential nations - to show the way.
"Cricket needs its Test format to not merely survive, but to flourish so that the traditional fabric of the sport remains as its engine room.”
India’s vast legion of fans, hitherto forced to settle for occasional competitive displays by its heroes, was finally rewarded for its patience when the team’s investment in pace paid handsome dividends in 2018/19 when Virat Kohli’s men won the showdown for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1, making them the first team from India to pull off a series win Down Under.
Test cricket is under genuine threat from the 20-over format, with more and more players gravitating towards the shorter version, emphasizes Bradman Museum. “Against this backdrop, the fillip it has received from a rivalry on par with the Ashes is a credit to the commitment to the most demanding format by two of the leaders of the world game,” it said.
The teams thus have the onerous responsibility of being exemplars of a format at the crossroads as it faces competition from shorter, more compelling versions.
Published by Churchill Press, the lavish 196-page coffee-table book includes more than 200 superb images from all the 12 Test series, including many historic press photographs rescued from the USA by former Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards and donated to the Bradman Museum.
The iconic Bradman Museum, located in Bowral New South Wales, is a history-making charitable trust, supported by Sir Donald Bradman to recognize and celebrate the past, the present and the possibilities through cricket. Whether it’s the Museum’s oldest bat from c. 1750, to Don’s childhood blade, Ian Chappell’s World Series Cricket helmet, Justin Langer’s Baggy Green or Belinda Clark’s collection of career match worn clothing, the living museum provides cricket with a trusted and safe place to preserve its memories, record its accomplishments and tell stories of its great characters.
The Bradman Museum lists its key purpose is to provide all children, regardless of ability or experience with the opportunity to play, to learn about the game and its impact on social issues around the world.
“Cricket is a fabulous vehicle to communicate strong messages on issues that can unite and impact change. The Bradman brand is a uniting force for the future,” it says.