As a silver coin spun in the early September London air, Tim Paine correctly guessed the side on which it would land.
What would you rather watch – paint drying or Test match cricket? If you’re anything like my mate Benny Gross, you’d take the paint without a second thought.
During my research for this article, I stumbled upon a Facebook page called “Watching paint dry because it’s still better than watching cricket” with a paltry 88 fans.
Come on guys, surely you can do better than that?
There are also countless news articles, blogs, discussions and various other gripes on the topic.
It got me thinking – what does Test cricket offer that paint drying doesn’t?
While watching paint dry, are you soaking in 136 years of rivalry and history?
No, not really.
Can you feel the heartbeat of a rookie opening batsman as one of the world’s premier fast bowlers comes roaring in with a 150 km/hr bouncer to the head?
Can you experience a crowd on their feet watching a player like Adam Gilchrist score the second fastest Test century in history after scoring ducks in his previous innings?
Can you experience ‘the iceman’ Steve Waugh as he stepped up into the face of Curtly Ambrose, one of the scariest fast bowlers of all time and said “what the **** are you looking at?”
While watching paint dry, can you experience a single delivery that became known as the “ball of the century”, when Shane Warne pitched a deliciously vicious leg spinner which turned past Mike Gatting’s outside edge to just clip off stump?
Can you watch Steve Waugh score a gritty century off the last ball of the day at a packed out SCG?
Can you watch Glenn McGrath completely mow down the English cricket team at Lords to finish with career best 8/38?
Can you experience the heartache and sportsmanship of Andrew Flintoff consoling a shattered Brett Lee after the thrilling finale to the 2005 Edgbaston Test?
Can you watch Ashton Agar, a Test debutant coming in at number 11, score a record breaking 98 runs to write himself into Ashes folklore?
There are some people, like the Bennys in this world, that would prefer to watch paint dry over Test match cricket.
To you, I say: “You’ve never truly lived.”