Test cricket

Test cricket is the longest and oldest format of the sport of cricket. It is a traditional and highly regarded form of the game, known for its unique challenges and strategic depth. Test matches are played between two national teams, and each match typically spans five days, although there are instances of four-day Test matches as well. in Test cricket, each team gets two innings to bat, and the objective is to score as many runs as possible while trying to dismiss the opposition’s batsmen. The team with the highest total of runs at the end of the match wins.

Unlike limited-overs formats, Test cricket does not have any restrictions on the number of overs that can be bowled in an innings. The game continues until all the innings are completed or a result is achieved, whether it be a win for one of the teams, a draw, or a tie.

The 90-Over Rule: Ensuring a Balanced Contest

  • Test cricket mandates that the bowling team bowls a minimum of 90 overs in a day’s play.
  • With six hours of play scheduled, this translates to an average rate of 15 overs per hour, ensuring a fair balance between batting and bowling.

Implications of Slow Play: Extra Time and Fines

  • In case of slow play, an additional half an hour can be added to the evening session, allowing the bowling side to complete their 90-over allocation.
  • Failure to deliver the required 90 overs within the designated time can result in fines for the captain and team members.

Total Overs in a Test Match: A Five-Day Battle

  • Each of the five days of a Test match demands 90 overs to be bowled, resulting in a maximum of 450 overs being delivered in a full-length Test.
  • Four-day Test matches have a total of 360 overs, providing an intense challenge for both teams.

Scope for Bowling More Overs: Rare Occurrences

  • While there is scope to bowl more than 90 overs in a day, this seldom happens in modern-day Test matches.
  • The additional half an hour becomes vital for teams to complete their allocation, as most sides struggle to reach 90 overs in the standard three sessions.

Impact of Weather Interruptions: Making Up for Lost Time

  • If play is affected by bad weather, umpires may implement earlier starts on subsequent days to compensate for lost overs and maintain the integrity of the match.

The New Ball Strategy: Key Decisions for Captains

  • At the start of each innings, the bowling team gets a new ball that they can use for the first 80 overs.
  • After 80 overs, they have the option to take a second new ball, a strategic decision that can influence the course of the game.

Embracing the Challenge of Test Cricket

  • Test cricket stands as a true test of a team’s skills, resilience, and strategic prowess over an extended period.
  • Embracing the challenges posed by the 90-over rule and the new ball strategy adds to the allure of Test cricket.


The 90-over rule is at the heart of Test cricket, ensuring a fair contest between bat and ball while presenting challenges for both teams. Understanding the significance of overs, the implications of slow play, and the strategic implications of the new ball enriches the experience of witnessing this timeless and cherished form of the game. As cricket enthusiasts, we revel in the grace and brilliance that Test cricket brings to the forefront and embrace the enduring spirit of this revered format.

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What is Test cricket?

Test cricket is the longest and oldest format of the sport of cricket. It is played between two national teams over a span of five days, with each team getting two innings to bat. The team with the highest total of runs at the end of the match wins.

How many days does a Test match last?

Test matches typically last for five days, but there are instances of four-day Test matches as well.

How many innings does each team get in a Test match?

Each team gets two innings to bat in a Test match.

How many overs played in Test match?

The number of overs played in a Test match is not fixed. However, there is a minimum requirement for the bowling team to deliver 90 overs in a day of Test cricket. Over the course of five days, each team will have the opportunity to bat twice, and the bowling team must deliver a total of 450 overs in a full-length Test match.

How many overs can be played in a Test match in a day?

In a Test match, a maximum of 90 overs can be played in a day. Each day’s play is typically divided into three sessions – morning, afternoon, and evening – with two intervals, a lunch break, and a tea break. Each session is scheduled to last for two hours, during which the bowling team is expected to deliver 30 overs.

How many overs per hour in Test match?

The rate of 15 overs per hour ensures a fair balance between batting and bowling and maintains the pace of the game. It allows for a reasonable progression of overs throughout the day while providing ample time for tactical decisions and strategic plays.