For a disciple of Test cricket, the last few days have been heaven on the big screen. Vernon Philander and Kyle Abbott nipping the ball about in Hobart, the New Zealand and Pakistani fast bowlers doing likewise in Christchurch,while over in India, Haseeb Hameeds and Alastair Cooks brilliant defensive techniques provided a magnificent contrast to their dazzling, wristy strokeplay.It would be true to say that the last fortnight has provided as much breadth and variety as a Test purist could hope for in terms of pitches, techniques and skills.The unique beauty of Test cricket is that a tense draw can be as riveting as an outright result. So long as at least one team is trying to win the match, a pitch that produces a draw is not necessarily a poor one. And a pitch that produces a fourth- or fifth-day result is arguably better than one on which a game finishes on the third day.Lets look at the two most recent Tests in Asia and the two in Australia and New Zealand as examples. Which of these pitches, on a statistical basis, provided more balance between bat and ball and between different bowling styles?The Hobart Test was effectively a two-day affair, allowing for the washout on the second day and some rain interruptions on the third. Fewer than 194 overs were bowled, and 572 runs were scored, with one century. Of the 30 wickets that fell, 29 went to fast bowlers, zero to spinners (there was one run-out). So of all the wickets claimed by bowlers, 100% of them were taken by one type of bowling (fast).In Christchurch, another Test that finished before the halfway point (if you count the washout on the first day), New Zealand won easily against Pakistan, who looked incapable of batting in seam-friendly conditions with extra bounce. A total of 612 runs were scored; no centuries. Of the 32 wickets that fell, seam bowlers claimed 31. The only wicket that fell to a spinner (part-timer Azhar Ali) was at the very end of the game, with victory just one run away. So thats close to 100% in favour of seam.In the first Test in Rajkot against England, India were under some pressure to save the match on the last day before it petered out in the final minutes. A total of 1457 runs were scored, with six centuries. More revealingly, the split between seam bowlers (seven) and spinners (22) suggested the pitch conditions were more balanced.In Visakhapatnam, 1072 runs were scored, with two centuries. Fourteen wickets to fast bowlers and 25 to the slow men. Again, a significantly more balanced snapshot than the matches in Australia and New Zealand.Even if you go back to Australias recent tour of Sri Lanka or New Zealands tour of India, the numbers look more balanced than the ones from Hobart and Christchurch. In Sri Lanka, the three Tests finished on day five, day three and day five respectively. Fast bowlers took 36 wickets and spinners 80 through the series.In India, the Tests against New Zealand lasted five, four and four days respectively. The seam-spin split was 37-62. In both India and Sri Lanka, the fast bowlers took approximately 33% of the total wickets that fell in the series. Thats significantly more balanced than heavily pace-favouring Hobart and Christchurch.Imagine the raised eyebrows if the spin v fast stats in the Tests played in Asia had been as heavily skewed in favour of spinners as they were for seamers in the Antipodes.Theres no question that weather conditions played their part in Hobart and Christchurch, but the same could also be said about the impact of weather on Asian pitches. Dont forget that in Hobart 15 wickets fell for 256 runs on the first day. This was the best pitch the groundsman could serve up for Bellerive Ovals marquee event of the summer. Christchurch was similar - 13 wickets for 237 runs on the first day of actual play. That can sometimes happen on any pitch that offers too much to the bowlers anywhere in the world.The success of Mitchell Starc in Sri Lanka and of Englands seamers in India proves that fast bowlers can do well on Asian pitches, contrary to some of the mutterings from Starc about how much better it was to be back at the WACA. His figures in Perth and Hobart were less flattering than the ones he got in Sri Lanka! At least his style of bowling was allowed to succeed on the Asian pitches, whereas it can hardly be claimed that the same tolerance was shown towards spinners in Hobart and Christchurch.Sure, Australias, New Zealands and Englands batsmen may be less comfortable against better spin bowlers, so it is only natural that the Asian spinners will be more successful against them. And it is worth pointing out that the Asian fast bowlers took more wickets in Asia than the spinners did in Hobart or Christchurch. More to the point, the Hobart and Christchurch Tests did not last long enough to allow the spinners to come into the game.It ultimately boils down to the strengths, weaknesses and unique characteristics of each team in different conditions. It should be no surprise that most teams are more skilful in conditions that they are familiar with, but the doctored pitch accusation should not be thrown around carelessly.Watching Pakistan bat on that second morning against New Zealand was as fascinating as watching England trying to survive in the fourth innings in Visakhapatnam - fascinating contrasts in technique, temperament and skill. I watched every ball of both those innings and it reminded me why I love this format above all else. One run per over in Visakhapatnam was as exciting as David Warner or Quinton De Kock teeing off.Its not always the case that the home team is guaranteed to win because the odds have been unfairly stacked against the visitors. Australia were all over Sri Lanka at times before they squandered winning positions; England had much the better of the Rajkot Test and might have won if Cook had been more adventurous with his declaration.For all those who argue that the toss can sometimes decide a Test match, look no further than Perth, Hobart and Christchurch. Theres talk of the toss being hyper-crucial in Adelaide too, so there goes the theory that its only in Asia that the game is done and dusted before the first ball is bowled. The numbers dont lie. Jerome Baker Jersey . The 25-year-old Japanese star has officially been posted by his club team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Dan Marino Jersey .C. Lions has come to an end. Banks told TSN on Jan 2 that he had no interest in playing out the option year of his contract with the Lions in 2014, and he again made that clear in a conversation with Lions GM Wally Buono last week. http://www.cheapdolphinsjerseysonline.com/?tag=mike-gesicki-jersey-online . 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STARS-DOnta Foreman, Texas, rushed for a career-best 250 yards and two TDs to help the Longhorns hand No. 8 Baylor its first loss, 35-34.-Kamryn Pettway, Auburn, ran for a career-high 236 yards and a touchdown to help the No. 15 Tigers beat Mississippi 40-29.-Chad Kelly, Ole Miss, threw for a school-record 465 yards, beating Archie Mannings previous mark of 436 yards set in 1969, in a 40-29 loss to No. 15 Auburn.-Christian Kirk, Texas A&M, became the first player in school history to return two punts for touchdowns in a game and had a scoring catch to help the No. 9 Aggies rout New Mexico State 52-10.-Deshaun Watson, Clemson, had 430 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, helping the third-ranked Tigers hold off No. 12 Florida State 37-34.-Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State, accounted for 534 and matched a school record with seven total touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to a 56-41 win over Samford.-Justin Herbert, Oregon, threw for 489 yards and four TDs in a 54-35 victory over Arizona State.-Saquon Barkley, Penn State, ran for 207 yards and two TDs in a 62-24 victory against Purdue.-Justin Thomas, Georgia Tech, accounted for 459 yards with four TDs in a 38-35 win over Duke.-Devante Kincade, Grambling State, passed for a career-high 457 yards and six TDs in a 70-0 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.-KD Humphries, Murray State, threw for 398 yards and five TDs in a 38-31 victory over Tennessee State.- John Lovett, Princeton, set a school record with seven touchdowns -- four passing, two rushing and one receiving -- in a 56-7 win over Cornell.-Bryan Schor, James Madison, threw for a career-high 309 yards, set a school record by completing 21 of 22 passes and tied another record with five TDs in an 84-7 win over Rhode Island.---BIG 12 TROUBLEThe Big 12s playoff hopes took a big hit with No. 8 Baylor and No. 10 West Virginia both losing.The Bears suffered their first loss when Texas Trent Domingue kicked a 39-yard field goal with 46 seconds remaining to give the Longhorns a 35-34 victory.West Virginia also lost for the first time, 37-20 to Oklahoma State after Mason Rudolph threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score.Baylor and West Virginia still could by in the thick of the playoff race if they finish 11-1, but would have to run the table.---PEPPERS LEADS WOLVERINESAll Michigan needed was an exclamation point -- a final flourish that would add a little extra satisfaction to this big victory on a rivals home field.ddddddddddddWhen Michigan State fumbled while attempting a puzzling 2-point conversion with 1 second left, Jabrill Peppers scooped up the loose ball and ran all the way to the end zone. Then the celebration really began.The defensive conversion by Peppers capped a 32-23 victory for the second-ranked Wolverines, who beat the skidding Spartans for only the second time in the last nine meetings. Peppers also scored a touchdown in the first quarter, and when the games last second finally ticked off, he did a triumphant backflip for good measure.The Wolverines scored every time they had the ball in the first half, sending the Spartans to their sixth straight loss while avenging last seasons botched-punt loss to their rivals.---NUMBERS6-Straight games Floridas Jordan Scarlett has scored a touchdown.100-Career victories by Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy after the Cowboys knocked off No. 10 West Virginia 37-20.355-Career catches by East Carolinas Isaiah Jones, passing Oklahomas Ryan Broyles for second in NCAA history. 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