A Full Explanation to Test Cricket (2024)

Test cricket is the oldest and longest format of the sport, with purists even claiming it is the greatest format overall. In this Test cricket betting guide, we will go over Test match betting, Test cricket odds and some highly useful Test cricket tips.

Test Cricket Explained

A Test match is usually played over the course of five days, and will consist of a total of 450 overs split into 90 overs bowled per day. An over is made up of six balls when all of the deliveries are legal. This is far longer than the other two formats of the game, which are One Day International (ODI) cricket and Twenty20 (T20). ODI matches are played over the course of a day with 100 overs bowled. This is split into 50 overs for each side to bat and bowl with. T20 cricket, meanwhile, is the shortest, with 40 overs per match split into 20 overs for both sides to bat and field with.

While the ODI and T20 games may be lauded for being the most exciting due to how short they are, Test cricket is often considered to be the highest standard of the game. It was first officially recognised in 1877, with England’s match against Australia being played out across 15th-19th of March. Since then, many teams have been given Test status, with the likes of South Africa, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, West Indies and Sri Lanka having also dominated at some point in the history of the game.

While Test matches have historically meant a lot to each nation taking part in them, there has been no barometer other than the Test cricket rankings to show who is at the top of the world. Of course, sitting at number one in the rankings is the main aim of all teams on the Test scene, but there has not been a tournament like the Cricket World Cup, which provides an out-and-out winner for the ODI and T20 games.

However, in 2019, the World Test Championship was created. This competition sees teams touring one another with series lasting between two and five matches. While not all teams will play the same number of games, they will play the same number of series. At the end of the preliminary stage, the two teams at the top of the league table will play in the final. If you want to get involved with betting on this new competition but are lacking the confidence, then check out our best cricket predictions to give you a boost.

Test matches will produce results through any of the following six scenarios listed below:

  • All four innings are completed.
  • The team batting last chases down the opposition’s total of runs.
  • The third innings ends with the team that batted twice still behind.
  • The match does not reach a conclusion within the allotted time.
  • The match is abandoned as the ground is deemed unfit for play.
  • The match is won by forfeit.

A Test match itself sees both teams given a total of 20 wickets to protect, which the batting team will look to protect with scoring runs. The bowling side, meanwhile, will be tasked with getting these batsmen out via any of being bowled, caught, run-out, stumped or LBW (leg before wicket). Both captains will take to the middle before the game to take part in the coin toss. The winner will get to pick whether they bat or bowl first, with this being a huge advantage as the conditions will usually dictate that doing one over the other is advised.

Teams win a Test match by getting more runs than the other. For example, if England bat first and score 600 runs before bowling Australia out for 300, they will have a lead of 300 runs. From here, they can either bat again to try to pile on the runs or they can enforce the follow-on (this is when a team batting second trails the team that batted first by 200 runs or more, and forces them to bat again).

In normal circumstances, though, England would then bat again and set Australia a target to chase down. If the Aussies were unable to chase this total down then England would win, while Australia would secure victory if they chased down this total.

How To Bet on Test Cricket

Test cricket betting has never been easier. The popularity of the game is huge right now, and almost every major bookmaker in the world offers Test match betting opportunities. Below, we will list a few of the key points that you should keep in mind before you go looking for the best Test cricket odds and start placing bets.

Where Can I Find Test Cricket Betting Markets?

Go to your favourite bookmaker and click on the sports section, which can usually be found on the left-hand side of the homepage. Next, hit the cricket tab to bring up all of the available matches that you can bet on. Some bookmakers will not specifically denote which matches are Test matches and which are ODIs or T20s. For this reason, it's very important for you to research which matches are Tests or otherwise.

What Test Cricket Markets Can You Bet on?

Cricket is a game in which the markets do not differ massively across formats. Test cricket betting, like ODI and T20 betting, will allow you to wager on Match Winner, Top Batsman and Top Wicket-Taker, Highest Opening Partnership, Handicap Markets, Most Sixes, Most Fours, and many more. This will come alongside more niche bets, like To Win the Coin Toss and Runs Scored From First Ball markets. If you have an understanding of ODI betting markets, then you can carry that knowledge over to T20 and Test cricket betting too.

Live betting can also be very exciting in a Test match – take a look at our list of the best in-play betting sites that offer in-play cricket action.

Why Bet on Test Cricket?

Test cricket betting provides some different angles that can be utilised over the other formats and sports, also providing bettors with a brilliant opportunity to use their knowledge to try to make money. Below, we've listed all the main reasons why betting on Test cricket is worth any punter's while.

The Length of a Test Match

The five-day format of the game may sound excessive, but it can actually make in-play betting even more enjoyable. While a soccer match has a shorter window of just 90 minutes to make an in-play bet, Test cricket can be bet on across the entire five days.

In addition, the long duration gives you more time to weigh up your options, allowing you to make shrewd bets without rushing.

Live Stream Opportunities

The live streaming opportunities offered for Test cricket are usually pretty extensive, enabling you to fully immerse yourself in the game. Reading a live-text commentary of the match can only give you so much insight, meaning you could miss out on a potentially valuable in-play bet.

Chances of an Upset

All sport is incredibly unpredictable, meaning that the out-and-out favourites in a match could be beaten by a major underdog, despite being big odds-on favourites. This is no different in Test cricket betting.

While the usual suspects do tend to win most games, with Australia, England, India and New Zealand currently in fine form in Test cricket, they are still susceptible to losing. Big performances, stunning catches, counter-attacking knocks and bowling-friendly pitches can all have a big impact on a game, and if the favourites do not turn up to a session or two, they can often be looking at a veritable mountain to climb.

Good Value

While India, England, Australia and New Zealand are currently at the top of the world, the likes of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa and Bangladesh are all more than able to hold their own. This sort of competition means that Match Winner betting does provide good value, unlike many other sports. A touring side in particular will give good odds, and, if you are betting on Australia or England on the road, they will provide a good chance of seeing your bet come in.

Depth of Markets

There is a serious depth of markets when it comes to cricket betting. The likes of Top Batsman, Top Wicket-Taker, To Score a Century, Highest Opening Partnership and Most Sixes offer good value, as do outright betting markets for tournaments and series. The desire to bet on cricket has only been enhanced by the serious amount of markets available to punters, holding true for Test cricket betting, IPL betting and everything in between.

Test Cricket Tips

Before you begin Test cricket betting, there are a number of factors you should adhere to, of which we have listed the most important below.

  • The Form – While the form of two teams does not always confirm that a side on a hot-streak will win, it can be a good barometer of who has the edge. If a side comes into a match on the back of a 10-game losing run while their opposition remain unbeaten across the year, then all of the signals point to the latter winning.
  • Historic Results – Much like the form, results between two sides can reveal a lot about how the two sides fare in the game. If England have beaten Pakistan in every single one of their games at Trent Bridge over the last 20 years, then wagering on the latter is clearly a risky bet. While the results of teams gone by do not mean the current side will lose, the mental challenge that is set down can be something that plays heavily on their minds.
  • The Pitch – In cricket, this is the most important factor when playing. If a pitch in England is grassy and the conditions are overcast, then swing is likely, while if the pitch is hard and blisteringly hot in Australia, fast and aggressive bowling will be potent, before spin becomes more prominent as the game goes on. Ensure you look at the pitch report before the match begins.
  • The Venue – Like the pitch, the venue itself is important in Test cricket. Different stadiums bring different conditions, while the psychological aspect of going to a country and venue in which a side has struggled can also have a significant impact. Look at how both the home and away sides have fared at certain grounds before making your bets.
  • Look For Value – It is easy to simply wager on the favourite in Match Winner betting. However, this will not always offer you any value since favourites are frequently underpriced. To sum up, it's always important to prioritise value while evaluating your bets, rather than betting solely on what you think will happen.

Best Markets for Test Cricket Betting

Test Cricket Betting: Outright (Tournament) Winner Betting

888 sport world cup cricket odds

(Source: 888sport)

Test cricket betting on any outright winner market will usually offer some really good value; it requires you to wager on the side you think will win the tournament. For example, if you are betting on the winner of the Cricket World Cup, you would bet on any country including England, India, or Australia to lift the trophy once the final ball has been bowled.

This market will offer good value as the cricket scene is highly competitive, whether on international or club level. You can bet a long way in advance of the tournament, which will see the odds dictated by pre-tournament favourites, based on how they have performed in recent months.

You can also wager during the tournament itself. This can provide better odds on bigger teams if they have struggled at the start of the tournament and, if you think they can hit back quickly and still win, you can back them.

Best betting site for Outright (Tournament) Winner:888sport

Test Cricket Betting: Top Batsman Betting

Sportsbet cricket market screenshot

(Source: Sportsbet.io)

The Top Batsman market is superb for value and, while it can be tough to nail a winner, you will invariably have a chance of winning in this market. Top Batsman betting will see punters wagering on the batsman they think will finish with the most runs in the match.

Usually only predicated on the first innings, this market can either see you wagering on one batsman to outscore all of the other players on the field, or one batsman to outscore his 10 teammates. The former provides better odds as there are 21 other players that could outscore your pick, while the latter provides more security, as there are fewer players that can outdo your choice. However, this will see the odds on players shorten.

For this market, it is very important for you to do your research on how the batsman fares at certain venues, on a particular type of pitch, and how they have performed against the bowlers that will play in the Test match.

Best betting site for Top Batsman: Sportsbet.io

Test Cricket Betting: Man of the Match

Test Cricket Betting - Man of the match list

(Source: Sportsbet.io)

Man of the Match betting requires you the back the player you think will win the Man of the Match award. This is usually awarded to a player that has the biggest positive influence on a game, whether with the bat, ball, in the field, or all of the above. This market can be a bit more subjective than the Top Batsman market as it is usually decided by a commentator, who will have his or her own biases.

Best betting site For Man Of The Match: Sportsbet.io

Top Test Cricket Matches

Test cricket has blessed the sporting world with some truly epic performances in the past. Below, we have listed some of the greatest, both individually and collectively.

Ben Stokes – 135* (England vs Australia – Third Ashes Test, Headingley – 2019) 

The third Ashes Test seemed to be heading towards an Australian win as England had once again crumbled under the pressure. After bowling Australia out for a paltry 179, England were humiliated as they were bowled out for just 67, before Australia then battled their way to 246 in their second innings, posting England an improbable 358 to win in the fourth innings.

England were teetering at 159-4 before wickets began to tumble to see the hosts at 286-9, needing another 72 to win with one wicket left. While things seemed dire, Ben Stokes was not to be denied as he began an assault on the Australian bowlers, smashing an incredible 135 not out which featured 11 fours and eight sixes. What was even more impressive was how well Stokes farmed the strike, meaning number 11 batsman Jack Leach only had to face 17 balls for his one run.

The Aussies were left incredulous as they missed a number of chances to win the Test, not least Nathan Lyon inexplicably failing to run the pair out after fumbling a regulation throw. The winning runs were hit as Stokes cracked a glorious boundary through the offside to seal the win in what was the most incredible innings in Test history, proving many in-play Test cricket tips wrong.

Brian Lara – 400* (West Indies vs England – Fourth Test, Antigua – 2004)

While Stokes may take the award for the most dramatic score in Test cricket, Brian Lara will surely take home gold for the best performance in an innings. Lara’s Test world record score of 400 not out in 2004, which still stands today, was one that saw the West Indies star cement his name in the annals of the greatest of all time. Helping his side on a score of 751-5 declared, Lara passed Australia’s Matthew Hayden’s world record of 380 to set his own record.

England vs Australia (The Ashes – 2005)

Very few will argue against the belief that the 2005 Ashes was the greatest battle in Test match history. The tempo and skill did not drop at any point across the five Tests, as old enemies England and Australia fought tooth and nail to claim the Ashes.

The two traded blows in the opening matches as Australia won the first Test. England then drew the series level at 1-1 with an incredible game in which they won by two runs. Steve Harmison took the all-important final wicket to secure victory, with Geraint Jones taking an excellent catch to win the game.

The third Test was England’s to win as they had Australia teetering at 371/9 with four overs remaining, but the tail-end pairing of Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath held on to secure the draw. The fourth Test promised much, and it did not disappoint as England won a nail biting game, winning by three wickets with Ashley Giles and Matthew Hoggard getting England over the line. This defiant partnership stopped the Aussies in their tracks and saw England go 2-1 up in the series.

England knew they could not afford to lose the match as Australia would take the urn home if they drew the series 2-2, retaining the Ashes in doing so. Despite battling very hard throughout, England stayed strong against the touring side, ultimately claiming a draw in the game to snatch the Ashes from the Aussies.

The series itself is one that cannot be done justice through words, with the scenes at every match showing just how incredible Test cricket can be. In fact, such was their level of performance that England’s starting team resembled a squad straight out of Dream11 fantasy cricket.

Test Cricket Betting FAQs

Which are the best betting sites for Test cricket betting?

Any of the sites we have recommended above will give you a fantastic experience when it comes to Test cricket betting. However, we would recommend 888sport or Sportsbet.io as the very best. These three bookies offer a range of markets, competitive odds, a number of betting payment methods and an array of other features. If you enjoy betting on the go, then don't forget to check out our list of the best cricket betting apps in India available.

Can I watch and bet on Test cricket at the same time?

Yes, you can watch Test cricket with certain bookmakers. To do so, pick a bookie from our list of the best live cricket streaming sites. You can then check the bookie's live streaming calendar to see if any Test matches are being streamed.

Which are the best markets for Test cricket betting?

While a number of markets are available for Test cricket betting, what you consider to be the best is entirely up to your own preferences. If you are looking for niche bets, then To Win the Coin Toss is an ideal option; if you'd rather something simpler, we'd advise betting on the Match Winner market. Head over to our guide on how to bet on cricket for some more useful pointers.

CricketBettingAdvice Final Say

Test cricket betting is in an incredibly strong place right now, with the longest format of the game still seen as the pinnacle of the sport overall.  Today's punters can choose from the best cricket betting sites to find an array of available markets and competitive odds online, making Test cricket betting even more exciting. It is therefore no wonder that cricket has found itself a favourite not only in sports betting in India, but also across the world.

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