In an era of T20 cricket, many may have sounded the death knell for Test matches, the longest format of the popular sport, but for aficionados it is still the format in which they see classical sportsmanship. And while several of us may have seen countless Test matches, cheering our home teams, not many would have spared a thought to wonder when the first match of this kind was played.
The first officially recognised Test cricket match that took place today between the established English side and a newly formed Australian team. The match was played between March 15 and 19 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, in which Australia won by 45 runs. But England won the second match to draw the series at 1:1. The rivalry between the English and Australian teams, forged on the field, endures to this day.
According to the official statement, “Today’s Doodle hits the deck with a lighthearted rendering that captures the spirit of sportsmanship and the inaugural test match. Mustachioed and musclebound, the batsmen, bowlers and opposition fielders spring into action, never losing sight of the red ball.”
Interestingly, though, going by the representational map provided by Google, the reach of the doodle is restricted to India and Australia, excluding even England, which was one of the teams to actually play that first match back in 1877.