Test cricket is one of the oldest and most prestigious forms of cricket played around the world. It is the ultimate test of a cricketer’s skills and abilities and is considered to be the highest level of cricket that a player can aspire to. In this article, we will explore the basic rules of test cricket that every fan and player should know.
1. Test cricket is played in whites.
Test cricket is played in traditional white clothing, which is a hallmark of the game. The players wear white shirts and trousers, with long-sleeved sweaters and caps, and the use of coloured clothing or equipment is not allowed. This is done to maintain the spirit and tradition of the game and to avoid distractions from the game itself.
2. It’s a 5 day match.
Test cricket is a game that is played over five days, with each team batting and bowling for two innings. This format is designed to test the endurance and skill of the players, as they have to perform consistently over a longer period of time. The team that scores the most runs in their two innings wins the match.
3. There are 3 sessions of 2 hrs each.
Each day of a Test match is divided into three sessions of two hours each. The first session starts in the morning and lasts until lunch, which is a break of 40-45 minutes. The second session starts after lunch and lasts until tea, which is a break of 15-20 minutes. The third session starts after tea and lasts until the end of play, which is called stumps.
4. Umpire dislodges the bails when a session ends.
At the end of each session, the umpires remove the bails from the stumps to signify the end of play for that session. This tradition has been a part of Test cricket for many years and is a symbol of the game’s rich history and tradition.
5. If the team batting first scores some runs, then the team batting second trails their score.
In Test cricket, the team that wins the toss has the option to bat first or bowl first. If the team batting first scores some runs, then the team batting second has to trail their score. If they are successful in doing so, then they take the lead and the team who had batted first will trail it first and then set the target. If they are unsuccessful in doing so, then it’s an innings defeat.
If the team which is trailing gets out when the deficit is more than 200, then the opposition team has an option to let them bat again or bowl.
If the team that is batting second is trailing by more than 200 runs and loses all their wickets, the opposition team has the option to enforce the follow-on, which means they can ask the team to bat again immediately. This rule is in place to ensure that the team batting second does not delay the game unnecessarily.
If the team which was trailing and got out with a deficit of more than 200, bats again and gets out before making the required trail runs then also it’s an innings defeat.
If the team that is batting second is forced to bat again and fails to make up the deficit, then it is considered an innings defeat for them.
6. If there is no result through the entire test then the match ends in Draw.
If both teams are unable to secure a win or draw by the end of the fifth day, then the match is declared a draw. This means that neither team has won, and they share the points.
7. 90 Overs to be Bowled Each Day
In Test cricket, each day, 90 overs are scheduled to be bowled. If play is interrupted due to rain or any other unforeseen circumstance, the lost overs will be made up by starting the next day’s play half an hour earlier or by distributing the lost overs among the remaining sessions of the day. In such situations, a minimum of 98 overs must be bowled on the remaining days of the match to make up for lost time.
8. New Ball after 80 Overs
In Test cricket, the ball starts to lose its shine and hardness after a period of play. After 80 overs, the bowling team is given the option to take a new ball. A new ball helps the bowlers generate more swing and seam movement, making it easier to take wickets.
9. Standard Cricket Rules Apply
While there are certain unique rules in Test cricket, most of the standard cricket rules also apply. For instance, the fielding team can only have 11 players on the field, and the batting team must score runs by hitting the ball and running between the wickets.
10. Third Bouncer is a No Ball
In Test cricket, a bowler is not allowed to bowl more than two bouncers per over. If the bowler bowls a third bouncer, it is considered a no-ball, and the batting team is awarded a run. Additionally, the bowler is not allowed to bowl more than two successive full-toss deliveries in an over.
11. Wide Balls
If the bowler bowls a delivery down the leg side, and the ball does not touch the batsman, it will be called a wide if it is a considerable distance away from the batsman or crosses the wide line. However, if the ball is close to the batsman, it will not be called a wide. For deliveries outside off-stump, the same rule as in ODI cricket applies.
12. No Free Hit
Unlike limited-overs cricket, there is no free hit in Test cricket. If the bowler bowls a no-ball, the batting team is awarded a run, and the ball is considered a legitimate delivery.
13. DRS Referrals
Both teams are given two DRS (Decision Review System) referrals per innings while batting and bowling. This system allows teams to challenge the umpire’s decision on the field, using technology to review decisions such as catches, LBWs, and run-outs.
14. No D/L Method
In limited-overs cricket, the Duckworth-Lewis method is used to calculate the target for the team batting second in rain-affected matches. However, in Test cricket, there is no D/L method, and if the match is affected by rain, the lost time is made up by extending the duration of the match.
15. Slow Over Rate
In Test cricket, it is essential that both teams complete the minimum number of overs required to be bowled each day. If either team fails to bowl the required overs, they will be penalized. If a team is found guilty of slow over-rate, they will be fined, and the captain of the team will receive a suspension.