The Test: A New Era for Australia's Team Review: A Must Watch for Every Cricket Fan
The Test Review: The rise of a cricketing nation from ashes to The Ashes, this docu drama will make your social distancing worthwhile!
- Movie Name The Test (Amazon Prime)
- Actor The Australian Test and ODI Team
Chemistry teaches us that some of the toughest elements on earth are physically dense and soft. Many of them are rare and precious too. They do not react easily, hence the nobility. A few humans exhibit similar properties and interestingly all of them are sportsmen/women of a kind.
The Test is a close encounter with the above in cricketing kind.
For the 90’s generation, growing up on a staple diet of test and ODI cricket, Justin Langer is one such rare metal in the Australian batting framework. Playing under the best of the Australian captains, this southpaw opener, tempered and annealed into something as solid as gold. Post Sandpapergate, when Australian reputation markets crashed, it was not surprising that Australia resorted to their Fort Knox to pull this gold out. With Warner, Smith and respect gone, it was time for redemption. It is unfair to compare this journey to a ride on a roller coaster as this was no ride in an amusement park, it was a fight to salvage something next best to survival! Respect.
The Test is a clinical documentation of this journey. As any clinical process begins with an examination of the condition, the first few episodes of this docu-drama begin on a slow pace touching the points of tenderness following the amputation of its best. Like a relentless kid figuring out his Lego blocks to build a Millennium Falcon, Langer starts off with a lot of motivational talk which barely cements a foundation. The blocks keep tumbling and the new kid (read Tim Paine) is barely in the league of his predecessors.
A 5-0 drubbing by the English in the ODI series is momentarily salvaged by Captain Paine in the UAE where they manage a draw. But this is Australia we are talking about, they do not fight to draw, they live to win. To makes things tougher, the Indian whites and blues lead by Virat Kohli visit the Australians. The Australians are on the back foot, facing an aggressive Indian team and Captain Kohli is the prime perpetrator.
Just reiterating the words in the above sentence are in the right order as opposed to many you might have read before! As an Indian cricket fan, it is refreshing to watch as Indian cricket is shown in a shade that was never seen before. The Indian tour dents the morale and opens the cracks before the very same team hosts the Australians and ignites the flames of hope and an attempt at the World Cup the following summer in England. The sequence of events that follow are the makings of an epic. The drama and the melodrama in the Australian dressing room starts with boarding a flight to the motherland of cricket. The crown jewels Smith and Warner are restored but with a thick tarnish.
The Battle of Warner and The Battle of Smith are one of the many battles waged by General Langer with his commanders Paine and Finch in the Great War of Redemption of Australian cricket.
The Test never fails to capture the pain, tears or the glory of the everchanging dynamics of this journey. Some great moments include Captain Kohli getting under the skin of the Australians while Pujara is systematically wearing out the bowlers. The direction and editing accompanied with some great background score will make the Australian experience vicarious to the viewer. The falling of Smith to an Archer delivery and rise of Labuschagne to the momentary concussion in the spirit of the team is so beautifully presented on the screen that it needs no knowledge of the game to empathize.
The shows ends on a crescendo before almost ending up in an Anti-Climax where you witness a stone cold Langer loose his cool at a Lyon error to kick a bin in the corner of the room. The gentleman in him picks all the stuff strewn apart and places the bin back whilst mumbling abuses. It reflects something metaphorical to his journey with the team. This is followed by a full team review of the last 15 overs of the Stokes test where you end up cringing in as much pain as the recipients.
Its not easy to feel sympathetic to an otherwise ruthless and clinically perfect Australian cricket team. The Test will make you think twice.