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The Case For A 4-day Test Match

Should test cricket be reduced to a four-day format? Well that’s the debate that has erupted, engulfed and split the cricketing world with many advocating for one or the other. To make sense of it all, we are going to share some pros and cons so you can make up your own mind.



You don’t need to like it. However, you need to recognize it. When the suits talk about the monetary advantages of the four-day plan, a plethora responds like it’s an enormous ‘gotcha’. It isn’t. The way that something is monetarily valuable surely isn’t immaterial to any professional game and more critically, doesn’t naturally mean it’s bad. Pro sports do require to make a profit and endeavour to abstain from losing it at every possible opportunity. It just shouldn’t be the only thought.

You don’t need to like it, yet you need to recognize that scepticism around the last day forms a financial threat. Also, keeping in mind that four-day Tests don’t solve this issue, rather they alleviate it.


“Thrilling final day finishes” is a common yet ridiculous argument when folks lament about a four-day Test.

There will, in any case, be exciting ends, and our hunch is there will really be more of them. For what reason would there not be? Fixing the time pressure keeps the draw in the hunt for more and for longer. Draws without bad climate are currently vanishingly uncommon. There’s a component of stratagem in the contraction without a doubt, yet with four-day Tests, you ought to get fewer games where the outcome is a surety after two days. There are heaps of those games right now, in light of the non-rain-influenced draws that have died out.

One happy mishap of the four-day game might be to bring that back to life. In doing so, revitalize a lot of matches that would some way or another invest a large portion of their energy floating to an inescapable conclusion. One could even, with only a little trace of mischief, contend that by bringing back the non-rain-influenced draw, four-day Test cricket will be saving one of the game’s traditions. A draw is an authentic outcome, and some of Test cricket’s most noteworthy games have finished without a result.


Let’s admit it, the 2-match test series are crap. One-off matches even more so. If all – or even most – series of two five-day games were replaced by three four-day games. Would that be a worthwhile trade-off? It should at the very least for thought, before you rightly conclude this won’t happen. There will just be more T20s instead. But imagine it, though.

Remember, 15 out of 27 series that are included in the current World Test Championship are 2-match nonsenses. Is that a better representation of what Test cricket is at its best than three four-day games? Probably not.


This ties in with No. 1 but we want to make the point more starkly. Is the fifth day crucial to risk losing Test cricket altogether if it dies and withers in the places where it isn’t profitable? It’s all good to look at England or Australia and say there’s no need for Test cricket to change in those countries. However, they are still going to need other countries to play against regularly. Even the suits don’t want Test cricket to just be the Ashes. Remember, Test cricket can’t actually get more traditional than occasional four-day games between Australia and England.

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That’s it. And that’s all it requires. Until this ceases to apply and there it should be the end of the argument.

If the ICC wanted to do this properly and had the game’s overall health at heart, then they would be making a proper attempt to tackle over-rates in five-day matches before even thinking about four-day games. That they are not is far more revealing than someone admitting four-day cricket saves a shitload of money.

There won’t be 100 overs per day in four-day Test cricket. Four-day cricket cannot afford to lose 10% of every day’s play like the five-day games currently do. Until Test cricket can prove it is still possible to regularly achieve 15 overs an hour in the era of DRS, then four-day Tests are or a non-starter. Period.


A little bit this too. While worrying about what to do if it rains takes us down to where cricket just gets sacked off completely. Four-day Tests are inevitably vulnerable to bad weather compared to five-day games.

A day’s washout sucks 25% rather than 20% of the entire playing time. That’s just math. You also have fewer days on which to try to make up any of that time, while the already longer playing days that four-day cricket needs reduce that opportunity still further.

As of now, if you lose one day’s play, you can still have an excellent and exciting four-day Test match.


Almost all former cricketers including Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting, and Sachin Tendulkar have given a shake to the 4-day Test concept. Recently, Virat Kohli has also shown discomfort on a reduced-day red-ball cricket. All in all, this debate isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Feature image source: News Nation