In a Test match, the pitch is rolled at the start of each day's play. When the ground provides multiple rollers, the captain of the side currently batting has the choice of rollers.

Captains use this as a tactic on the 5th day in suitable situations. For example, when the batting side has a substantial lead (and a good bowling attack), he may choose to not declare before Stumps on Day 4, so that he can use the heavy roller on 5th day morning which would give additional assistance to the bowlers later on.

My question is, is it allowed to declare the innings immediately after the pitch has been rolled, or does the batting side need to face at least one ball before declaring?

1 Answer 1



The captain of the side batting may declare an innings closed, when the ball is dead, at any time during the innings.

According to Laws of Cricket (Wikipedia):

Law 14, Declaration and forfeiture: The batting captain can declare an innings closed at any time when the ball is dead. He may also forfeit his innings before it has started.

So, captain can declare innings whenever he wants during the match. He can also choose this as tactic to declare innings in the morning to get maximum wickets.

It happened several time in test cricket history. For example, in recent test match between India & Australia (First Test Match 9 Dec, 14 to 13 Dec, 14), Australia declared in their first inning before start of game on day 3.

Click here for LAW 23 (DEAD BALL)


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