This whole business of a three-match Test series - let alone a two-match or a one-off Test series - should go out of the window. A five-match Test series should be made mandatory by the ruling body. It is just not fair to cricket and to the skill of cricketers when a series is deemed as won or lost on the basis of just a two/ three-match series. A full-fledged five-match Test series is the right parametre to gauge the Test credentials of a nation.
Any series featuring less than five matches is, especially, harsh on touring teams given that it takes at least two matches for visiting teams to get acclimatised to foreign conditions. When it is a five-match series, good teams have a chance to bounce back thereby giving them a fair opportunity to stake claim to be victorious.
The forthcoming England-Pakistan series is one such series where one will never get to know the worthy winners of a Test series. Whoever wins, definitely, would not have been tested to the full. How can one get to measure the endurance factor of a team given the short duration of the series? Nor will the grit and character of a team be ascertained because whoever strikes the first blow is certain to emerge victorious. There is no chance for a comeback.
Although these quick-fix series (QFS) came into being with an intent on giving lesser graded teams (Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and in those days Sri Lanka) an exposure, they have now come to stay, with these QFS being employed even against two equally good teams.
The recently concluded Indo-Australia series is a good example of the public being robbed of what would have turned out to be an enthralling piece of Test series had it been run for its normal course of five Tests. One never will know what would have been the final score-line. Would the Aussies have fought back or would the Indians have thrashed them?
See how exciting the recently concluded West Indies-South Africa series turned out to be(until the 4th Test West Indies was not out of the series), because it gave both teams a chance to stake their claim, with the series eventually going 2-1 in South Africa's favour.
These days it's more of commercial benefits than cricketing good that influence the itinerary of a Test series with more One-dayers being packed and what's sad is that, it's not that the Boards are in want of money.
Well, one can only put it down to the case of the 'Golden Goose', where they don't mind extracting as much from the Goose, even if it means putting the Goose in harm's way.