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Passing the Test

Passing the Test

The docu-series brings alive the Ashes’ series.

Film: The Test Season 3

Director: Sheldon Wynne and Adrian Brown

Cast: Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Alex Carey, Gerard Whateley, Mitchell Starc, Marnus Labuschagne, Justin Langer, David Warner, Steve Smith, Peter Lalor, Travis Head, Ravi Shastri & Harsha Bhogle


There’s a reason sports documentaries are a hit among the fans of the game, for these walk you right into the dressing room where players are discussing strategies. These, however, score a six when they make the game impressionable and interesting for non-fans. By the time I finished watching this three-episode documentary on Test cricket, the five-day cricket matches became even more interesting than the bingeable T20.

The series starts with a match between India and Australia during the ICC World Test Championship in England. Indian skipper Virat Kohli can be seen hitting the long shots. The focus soon shifts to the Ashes.

As the five-match series begins, on-field emotions like humiliation, triumph, sacrifice, courage and respect come forth. At this bi-annual event, time comes to a standstill.

The second episode takes you to the second Test match at the Ashes where wicketkeeper Alex Carey is throwing the stumps to dismiss Jonny Bairstow. Australian producers showing it without holding back is a win-win for the series. It also brings back memories of the match between Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings (then Kings XI Punjab) when Ashwin, captain of Punjab Kings, pulls a similar stump out to send Jos Buttler back into the pavilion.

Back then, questions were raised about the spirit of the game. Only English cricket lovers present at the matches during the Ashes weren't kind enough, and booing and sloganeering become part of the tour.

There’s another heartwarming moment when Nathan Lyon fights it out in his 100th Test match as he adds runs to the scoreboard while batting with an injured leg.

The 146th series of the Ashes’ history gives an impeccable moment, reserved only for the climax. You also get to see another side of these cricketers: as fathers, husbands and sons who face pressure during the matches, nonetheless humans who falter, lose and break at crucial moments. The only complaint: it would have been better to see an interaction with key players of the teams they were playing against. Their point of view would have added more layers to this one-sided narrative.

The must-watch documentary rises above dividing factors like ‘teams and countries’ and celebrates cricket and the very ‘spirit of cricket’, in bits and pieces.