HomeSportsCricketMaster the Game: 10 Crucial Test Cricket Rules Every Fan Must Know
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Master the Game: 10 Crucial Test Cricket Rules Every Fan Must Know

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Test cricket is the best cricket- Cricketing legends have been saying this since ages. With the dying viewership to this absolute gem of a format, the generation is endangered to lose this game to 50-over format and the 20-over format. There has been a surge in the attempts to revive the game. But not all have been as fruitful. In this blog, we will look at 10 Test cricket rules you need to understand the game.

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“Personally, I love watching all three forms and the many inherent qualities of Test cricket, especially the second chance it gives players, appeal greatly to me.”- Harsha Bhogle

Here is a minuscule attempt to glorify the game’s longest format by listing the present-day test cricket rules, governing the longest format of the game.

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The Format in Test Cricket

The game is allotted 5 days. Each day consists of three sessions (excluding pink ball cricket for the moment). Each session consists of 30 bowling overs.

First session: The first session is played before lunch.

Second session: It is played post-lunch and before tea

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Third session: This session is played post-tea until the umpire declares ‘stumps’ which mean the end of the day’s play

If any session fails to meet the 30 over the requirement, an attempt to reduce the deficit of each overs in subsequent sessions is made, and the playtime may get extended.

Also Read | Top 10 greatest Indian spinners of all-time

Test Cricket Rules: Lead

Lead is a technical term in the language of test cricket, which indicates the run difference by which a team with a higher score is ahead than the opposition.

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Test Cricket Rules: Trail

It is the literal opposite of lead. It indicates the no. of runs a batting team is behind than the no. of runs scored by the team that batted previously.


Indian test team KreedOn
Credits BCCI

The captain can “declare” the innings and ask the opposition to bat as per his wish. There are two ways in which an inning can end in test cricket. One is bowled all-out and the other, declaration.

Also Read | Top 10 Leading Test Run Scorers in Cricket

Test Cricket Rules: Follow-on

Before going further, let us make ourselves abreast with the concept of the follow-on.

The first necessary condition for a follow on is a lead on the first innings. “What kind of lead” is as follows:

  • In a test match of 5 or more days (consisting of two innings), the side which bat firsts and leads by at least 200 runs will have the option of imposing follow-on on the opposition, i.e. ask them to bat once again (which will make opposition team’s second inning)
  • If due to some reason, the test match ceases to be a 5-day match and the no. of play days get reduced, then follow on the margin of 200 will be changed to:
  1. 150 runs in case of a 3- or 4-days match
  2. 100 runs in case of a 2-days match
  3. 75 runs in case of a 1-day match

 The captain must notify his decision of follow-on to the opposite team captain and the umpires.

Sachin Tendulkar- KreedOnAlso Read | Top 10 Openers In Cricket | Read To Find Out Who Tops The List

The Decision Review System

The introduction of DRS in all formats of the game has given a fair chance to the teams in case of an umpiring error.

As for test format, each team will get two reviews every inning. In case a team feels, the umpire is wrong with his decision, the captain can opt for the review. But there is a catch!

If the review if for a catch, then there is a simple yes-no scenario. Either the umpire is right or wrong. The third umpire takes the review. The team loses the review if umpire decision is correct, and if not, the team retains the review.

But, there exists a concept of umpire’s call.

Test Cricket Rules KreedOn
Test Cricket Rules: DRS | Credits: Cricket Australia

In the above pic, more than 50% area of the ball is not hitting the stumps. In such case, if a team opts for a review, then the third umpire will stay with the on-field umpires call. Same goes for Leg Before Wicket (LBW) scenario.

If the review turns out to be an umpire’s call, then the team which opted for the review will not lose it.


Master the Game: 10 Crucial Test Cricket Rules Every Fan Must Know | KreedOn
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Traditionally, Test cricket has always taken place in natural daylight, with artificial lights being employed only to facilitate the completion of a full day’s play.

To enhance the popularity of Test cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC) introduced day-night test matches, allowing them to be played with a pink ball. The inaugural day-night test took place in November 2015 between Australia and New Zealand, with Australia emerging victorious by 3 wickets.

Day-night test matches have slightly different rules compared to conventional test matches. The host cricket board, in agreement with the visiting board, must seek approval from the ICC to stage a day-night test match

Test Cricket Rules for Bowling

Test Cricket KreedOn
Credits Twitter

Each team will get a new ball at the start of every inning. After 80 overs have been bowled with the ball, the bowling team can ask for a new ball. The change of ball is notified to the batsmen by the umpires.

In a match, a new ball becomes available once 80 overs have been bowled. If the current ball undergoes a change in shape and fails the loop test, it can be substituted with another ball that has a similar level of wear and tear.

Also Read | Types of bowling in cricket: A to Z guide for fast & spin bowling

Tea and Lunch break

Master the Game: 10 Crucial Test Cricket Rules Every Fan Must Know | KreedOn
Image Source- Teabox Blog

Break is as important as the game! It helps the players in regaining energy after a tiring session. The duration of tea-break is 20 minutes, and the duration of lunch is 40 minutes.

Innings Defeat

Innings defeat means the winning team batted only for one session and still managed to defeat the opposition.

Top 10 Highest Run Scorers in Test | A Testimony of Fact Also Read | Top 10 Highest Run Scorers in Test Cricket

World Test Championship

World Test Championship  | KreedOn
Image Source- Cricket Addictor

The International Cricket Council (ICC) initiated the ICC World Test Championship on 1 August 2019, establishing it as the foremost league competition for Test cricket. This championship aligns with the ICC’s objective of organizing a prestigious tournament for each of the three international cricket formats.

Administrator International Cricket Council
Format Test cricket
First edition 2019–2021
Latest edition 2021–2023
Next edition 2023–2025
Tournament format League and Final
Number of teams 9
Current champion New Zealand (1st title)
Most successful New Zealand
Most runs Joe Root (4050)
Most wickets Nathan Lyon (139)

The WTC 2021–23 cycle commenced in August 2021 with the Pataudi Trophy, a 5-match series between India and England. The International Cricket Council (ICC) officially unveiled the full programme, along with a new points system. Australia secured their spot in the final by emerging victorious in the 3rd Test Match of the 2022–23 Border-Gavaskar Trophy. India, on the other hand, secured their qualification after Sri Lanka failed to win the first match of their series in New Zealand. The final match is set to take place from 7th June to 11th June 2023 at The Oval in London, England.

most sixes in ODI KreedOnAlso Read | Most sixes in ODI: 12 batsmen with the most sixes in ODI cricket

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Kartik Gai
Kartik Gai
A cricket enthusiast- is best what describes me! While Dhoni is the monument of interest for me in this sport, it is Harsha Bhogle who inspires me to just write or speak. You can discuss with me about PUBG as well!



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