Test Cricket – The Longest Form of Cricket

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The longest form of cricket is the Test Cricket. Some of the people do not find it as interesting as the One Day International Cricket while there are others who rate it as the ultimate test for one’s playing ability as well as endurance in this type of sport. In fact the name ‘test cricket’ has been given to it since it is symbolic of the fact that this game actually tests both the competency as well as the strength of the different participating players.

The first ever test match started in the year 1877, March 15. This was contested between the teams of Australia and England. The match was held in Melbourne, Australia. In this match, Australia was declared the winning team. In the year 1977 when test cricket completed its 100 years, a match was again played in Melbourne to mark this occasion. This match was scheduled from March 12 to March 17 at Melbourne itself. This match was also won by Australia. In fact the winning margin was almost the same as that of the match that was held in 1877.

Test matches have been generally identified as a subset of the first-class cricket. These matches are generally played between those national representative teams who have a ‘test status’ attached to them. This test status is generally assigned by International Cricket Council (ICC).

There are well defined innings in test cricket as well. In each of the innings, one contesting team bats while the other bowls. In most of the test matches, the standard number of innings that has been observed is generally equal to four. Thus, each of the teams gets to bat and bowl twice in the entire test match. In order to decide which of the two teams should be assigned to bat first, a coin toss is carried out. In most of the cases, this toss is conducted by the home captain and the visiting captain calls either ‘heads’ or ‘tails’. The winning captain is given the option to choose between batting or bowling first. Thus, he is given this privilege of choosing between the two acts of the game. In ‘Test’ cricket, the team which chooses to bat first is generally referred to as ‘Team A’ while the team which bowls first is referred to as ‘Team B’.

At the completion of the innings, the two teams will generally alternate. Thus, the Team A will start bowling at the end of an innings while the Team B will start to bat. The same sequence is generally repeated after the completion of the innings for Team B. In order to arrive at a result, the total runs of a team scored in both the innings put together are calculated and then they are compared with the second team.

The highest ever individual test innings was played between West Indies and England and this test match was held on April 13, 2004. This test match is well remembered because it was in this test match that Brian Lara scored 400 and he was not driven out. Through this match, Brian Lara surpassed the previous record of Matthew Hayden who had scored 380 runs in a test which was played between Australia and Zimbabwe in the year 2003..

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