Tim Blair explains the linkage between free-market economics and test cricket:
For all its colour and noise, one-day cricket resembles modern Australia less than does Test cricket, first played in 1877. By comparison with the one-day game, in Tests you can do practically anything you want. Feel like putting seven men in the slips? Hey, why not? Bowlers may storm in for as many overs as their captain sees fit, and official meddling with their line and length is greatly reduced. The team batting first could, theoretically, bat for an entire five days.
Putting a lid on all this laissez faire craziness is, as in real life, the constraining effect of market forces - which may be defined, in Test terms, as the chance to win.
Load up on too many runs before declaring, for example, and you'll find yourself with insufficient time to remove the opposition. Like the share market, Test cricket is a matter of balancing risk and opportunity.
Also like the share market, conditions change; slow bowlers may go from bust to boom as a pitch ages. Spinners are a maturing investment, as Indian leg-spinner Kumble may prove today in Melbourne.
None of these instructive economic subtleties are present in the one-day game. The free-market observer is appalled by the barriers imposed, and the reduction in value of risk; late in a one-day innings, a batsman may even be encouraged to throw his wicket away. Bowlers sweat over their centralised-sounding economy rate.
And, most creepily, one-day teams compete for something called the World Cup, which to any civilised mind evokes the dreaded UN. Test teams compete unilaterally.