After a frenzy of one-day internationals, Test match cricket (the version of the game that separates the men from the boys, and the women from the girls) is back! And it’s providing some interesting stories. Zimbabwe, once (late 19990s) an unlikely powerhouse before its rapid decline to also-ran status, is playing a one-off match with New Zealand, which is attempting, as ever, to punch above its weight. At the upper end of the rankings, an Australian side, still trying to get over their shellacking by England in the Ashes at the beginning of the year, is about to take on the always mercurial powerhouse South Africa in South Africa. Will Australia storm back, or will South Africa send Australia back to the drawing board?
Meanwhile, after several turbulent years, a newly resurgent and confident Pakistan is fighting it out with the always impressive Sri Lanka in Sharjah (Pakistan’s home ground, after a terrorist attack on this same Sri Lankan side in 2009 brought an end to international cricket in Pakistan itself). Pakistan are already one-up in the series as the final Test match ends its second day. If Pakistan draw or win, it sets them up nicely to play World Number 1, England, to revenge their humiliation in 2010. Lots of stories will unfold in the next few days.