Advice for understanding Test cricket - getting the hang of Ultimate XI

By Melissa Talbert May 15, 2020

Cricket fans and I have something in common— Tests. They watch them and I do them all the time. Some results are good, others are not so good. Still, I’d like to teach fans (particularly the ones failing the Ultimate XI) a thing or two about improving test performances.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, SportsMax has a campaign called Ultimate XI on the SportsMax website. It allows users to create their own Test cricket squad, one you consider the best of all time. Picks have to go through the ultimate Test though. The graders are the hosts of the SportsMax Zone and so far, they’ve failed nine batsmen. They are Allan Border, Younis Khan, Wally Hammond, Greg Chappell, Jacques Kalis, Garfield Sobers, Mark Boucher, Javed Miandad and Rahul Dravid. Do you see any of your picks? If you did, please follow the instructions below carefully. Following them can help you build a successful squad the next time around.



Studying can be the hardest thing ever, but it’s so crucial at the same time. Doing it before a Test works for me. It gets me in the right frame of mind— not one of doubt but of confidence. There’s nothing worse than going into a Test already defeated because you’re unsure about material and topics. Take it from me, the results are never as good as they could be if you had just studied. Not studying makes the shortest Test seem tedious. That’s something you don’t want. What you want is to finish the Test with a certain pass that’s why Test cricket highlights are available on the SportsMax website.


Be punctual

Starting a Test on time will always count. Ultimate XI started from May 11th and will end on May 22nd. A late start can lead to disappointment and regret. There are many times when I took Tests for granted because I thought I didn’t need ‘that much time’. I thought relying on my experience and knowledge on the topic would make the Test manageable; so much so that I’d finish in no time. It doesn’t always work. Instead, I’ve been left wishing I had extra time to perfect my answers.


Revisit questions

Looking over is probably one of the most annoying and neglected things to do in a Test. Nobody wants to spend extra time in a Test because the atmosphere is usually tense and intimidating. Instead of checking answers and feeling like you’re redoing the Test, you’d rather get up and leave or stare into space until the facilitator gives you permission to leave. Believe it or not, little mistakes can fall through the cracks and It’s always the simple mistake that causes you to fail. Luckily, Ultimate XI allows you to check previous answers and gives you enough time to do it.



Sharing your answers is the way to go. Sharing can influence other users to choose the same players as you. People who fail to prepare would especially agree. They love to copy. So, why not take advantage of that? This way you can increase the number of votes your players get and as a result lessen the chances of The SportsMax Zone eliminating your players. It shouldn’t be difficult since sharing your answers on an app is way easier than sharing answers on a Test paper (you shouldn’t do that, by the way). A screenshot can travel much further than you ever could. Consider it.



I’ve seen people walk out of Tests before. It’s embarrassing. Don’t let that be you. Stick it out until the end. Guess the answers if you have to— you may never know when the odds are in your favour. Leaving sections on a Test blank is an automatic zero. Other times you're denied submission if you have an outstanding answer. It’s better to do the Test entirely than to fall short because you didn’t try.


Get feedback

Personally, I love feedback. It helps to improve my chances of being successful in the next sitting of a Test.

Questions like “where did I go wrong?” Or even expressions like, “ ohhhhh, I get it now” are fulfilling for me. They represent a journey. Sometimes you have to unlearn and relearn to learn and feedback does just that. With Ultimate XI, you’ll have to watch the SportsMax Zone to get commentary on various picks.

I hate to admit it but Tests are unavoidable. With that said, it’s important to have strategies to improve Test performance. Studying, being punctual, looking over, sharing, submitting and getting feedback are mine. I strongly recommend you try them too.

Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

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    Career Statistics

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    Born: April 30, 1987, Bansod, Nagpur, Maharashtra

    Major teams: India, Air India, Deccan Chargers, India A, India Blue, India Green, India Red, India Under-19s, Indian Board President's XI, Indian Oil Corporation XI, Mumbai, Mumbai Cricket Association President's XI, Mumbai Cricket Association XI, Mumbai Indians, Mumbai Under-19s, Rest of India, West Zone

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    ODI Career: India (2007-present)

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    Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

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