Understanding the Number of Overs in Test Cricket

test match

Test cricket is the most important kind of cricket. It tests every part of a player’s skill in the longest type of the game.

What is Test Cricket?

Test cricket is a special kind of cricket played by full member countries of the ICC. Not all countries can play it, only 12 countries are good enough.

How Does Test Cricket Work?

Test cricket doesn’t have a fixed number of overs like other formats. Test matches are played over five days, sometimes four days. Each team bats twice in those days.

Sometimes the match can end in a draw if no team wins in five days. Test match days have morning, afternoon, and evening sessions. Each session lasts for two hours, but it can change if something happens like bad weather.

How Many Overs in a Test Match?

In a day of test cricket, the bowling team has to bowl 90 overs. This is like a rule. So, in five days of play, there could be 450 overs bowled. If the test match is four days, then it’s 360 overs.

Sometimes the bowling team can get more time to bowl if they’re slow. If they don’t finish 90 overs in time, the captain and players might get fined. It’s important to finish the overs.

Rules About the Ball

The team that bowls first gets a new ball for 80 overs. After 80 overs, they can take another new ball. They don’t have to, but it usually helps.

Interesting Records

The shortest test match happened in 2009 in Antigua. It was stopped after just ten balls because the ground wasn’t good.

Also Read: Meet the Father of Cricket –William Gilbert Grace

The shortest completed test match happened in 1932 between Australia and South Africa. Australia won after 656 deliveries.

The longest test match was in 1939 between South Africa and England. It lasted for ten days, but it was a draw.


Test cricket can last for 450 overs in theory, but many games end sooner. There’s no one answer for how many overs in test cricket. We can say a test match can have up to 450 overs, but most are faster.