Test cricket survived and mostly thrived as a bi-lateral exercise for 142 years.
Strange, then, that the recently completed test between New Zealand and England at Lord's felt hopelessly outmoded; an unattractive relic of a bygone era.
Dull draws have always been part and parcel of long-form cricket – purists would say even part of the charm – but since the advent of the World Test Championship in 2019 they have been few and far between. Those draws that still slip through the net at least have some context. They are brushstrokes on a bigger picture.
These two tests, however, have been shoehorned into the calendar to help the England and Wales Cricket Board recover some of the revenue lost in Covid-19. They do not contribute to the next cycle of the World Test Championship.
A rain-affected draw that once would have been prefixed with the word "honourable" now is literally pointless – and after taking a day or two to soak in the wonders of Devon Conway and Tim Southee, and more begrudgingly Rory Burns, the whole Lord's exercise felt a little pointless.
The test had meaning for Conway, obviously, whose superb debut double century served to give viewers a false impression of how runs should be crafted on that surface.
It had meaning for Southee as well, who has reached that plateau where he is going to be compared with nauseating regularity to a fine wine.
And yes, it had meaning for Ollie Robinson and an as-yet-unnamed teammate who discovered that while it might be possible to outgrow racist and sexist attitudes, it is impossible to outrun them once committed to social media.
Aside from that it was one day of rain and two final days of pain, with the hosts having to take most of the blame.
Given there were no long-term WTC penalties for losing, England's refusal to contemplate chasing 273 in two sessions was a disservice to the sport.
Opener Dom Sibley's unbeaten 60 off 207 balls was as unwatchable as modern cricket gets – for those tuning in on this side of the equator, it was an eye-closing event. His knock has been described in some quarters as a return to old-fashioned "grit", but I'd be more inclined to use a different but similar sounding four-letter word.
Coupled with an unacceptable over rate, England looked like they were in the early stages of a master plan to bore the Ashes off Australia next summer.
New Zealand were not blameless. If they had a declaration in mind, crawling to 62-2 off 30 overs at stumps on the fourth day – and using a nightwatchman in the process – was a weird way to set it up. For all Sibley's game-killing ugliness, you can also point to Tom Latham's 36 off 99 as unconducive to the public good.
These are the details and debates that once dominated the space between tests but now, less than two years after the birth of the WTC it all feels a little aimless.
Test cricket has a wider context now. Without it we need, at the very least, to be entertained. Anything else is less like tradition and more like the bad old days.
There's a bit of making up to do in Edgbaston.
One of the more bizarre test debuts in that what he did was extraordinary and yet it felt normal. That was not normal. Conway will have tough days and although he hasn't experienced many yet at international level, it feels necessary that to pump the brakes on the otherworldly expectations we are starting to place upon him.
Tried, given up, tried again, given up again. Super Rugby Transtasman has been few people's idea of fun except for those who have calculators and enjoy working out who needs to do what to qualify for the final. The Crusaders and Blues have been handed a massive advantage by kicking off the day after the Hurricanes and Highlanders, while you can forget about the Chiefs. Just wake me up for the final.
Want to see what happens when your tyre blows out on the longest straight in Formula One? Go and check out footage of Lance Stroll's crash in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Not enough debris for you? Check out Max Verstappen's crash in the same race, on the same straight, with the same tyre failing. Not a great day for the Italian rubber merchant.
Never felt comfortable trying to make points, arguments or jokes in a limited amount of imprudent characters and remain thankful that the platform wasn't around when I was much younger and much dumber.