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There seems to be a lot of cricket fans on this site so I was wondering can anyone explain the major differences between 20/20 cricket and test cricket? I was reading an article recently where a cricketer reckoned that 20/20 cricket would kill off test cricket in 20 years so I'm interested in seeing what differences between the two could lead to that happening.

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Major differences between Twenty20 (T20) and Test cricket include:

  • Duration - A Test match may last up to 5 days, and it is unusual for a Test to be completed within 3 days. T20 cricket lasts a matter of hours - perhaps around 3 hours.

  • Results - A Test match has four possible results for a team: a win, a loss, a tie, and a draw. A draw occurs when the time runs out before the match has been completed. To complete a win, a team needs to both score more runs than the other team and normally also take all the wickets of the other team.

    T20 does not include the possibility of a draw. To win, it is only necessary to score more runs; it is not required that all the opponents' wickets are taken.

  • Innings - Each team has two innings in a Test match, of indeterminate length. T20 cricket has one innings per team of 20 overs.

  • Style and requirements - As a consequence of the above factors, the way players approach the game is considerably different in the two forms.

    In Test cricket, players have to be fit enough to spend many hours playing, and batsmen have to be prepared to bat with patience for hours. Bowlers can attack more freely and have greater scope for setting fielders where they wish. In T20 cricket, bowlers have to almost always bowl more defensively, as not conceding runs is more important than taking wickets. Batsmen can be more aggressive from the start, and boundaries are more frequent. Fielders are restricted as to where they may be placed on the field.

Whether the two forms can co-exist remains to be seen. On the one hand, several players have demonstrated that it is possible to perform well in both forms, introducing T20 versatility into their Test game. On the other hand, some are concerned that young players' focus on T20 hurts their development of the qualities, such as watchfulness, needed for Test cricket.

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I think you will find that colour of the ball and lights ARE classified as major differences between T20 and Test cricket. For the ball, tests have shown that the white ball swings more than the red ball (for both the Kookaburra and the Duke ball). And recent arguments about playing Test cricket under lights in Adelaide clearly shows that this makes a big difference for the players - namely that when used in Day/Night form, dew and moisture make handling the ball more difficult for the fielding side, as is adjusting to night conditions under lights.

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    Could you supply some references to back up the statements you've made here?
    – Philip Kendall
    Dec 23 '15 at 18:34

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