I know nothing about cricket. I looked it up and it's telling me that a test match can last for three to five days, others tell me a few hours. Particularly regarding the australia v india 2nd test coming up in a few minutes

Is the several days referring to 1st test, 2nd test, 3rd test... combined together? So the 2nd test will only take a few hours or is the several days referring to the nth test?


There are three major forms of international cricket:

  • Twenty20 (often abbreviated to T20): each side has 20 overs (120 balls). A match takes about 3 to 3.5 hours, including a short break between each side's innings.
  • One Day Internationals: each side has 50 overs (300 balls). A match takes up to about 8 hours, including a longer break between each side's innings.
  • Test matches: a match is limited to five day's play, each of which has six hour's play and some breaks. There is no restriction on the number of overs each side can face, and each side has two innings. The match is over when all four innings have been completed, or the team batting in the fourth innings has scored more than the other team. If the five day's play finish before the four innings have been completed, the match is a draw, independent of the scores of each team.

Domestic cricket in each country tends to follow the same structure, except that the five day test match format is replaced by four day matches. For much more detail, see the Forms of cricket article on Wikipedia.

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