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How To Bet On Test Cricket


Test cricket is the oldest form of cricket but still one of the most popular to bet on. Our Test cricket betting guide will show you how to bet on Test cricket.

Betting On Test Cricket: An Introduction

Whilst One Day and T20 cricket might be ever growing in popularity in certain parts of the world such as the Asian sub-continent, Test match cricket is still viewed by many as the pinnacle of the sport. What it lacks in bright shining lights, coloured clothing and dancing cheerleaders, it often more than makes up with compelling, ebb and flow storylines that only an elongated match duration time can give.

Test matches are scheduled over five full days, with a minimum 90 overs due to be bowled over three sessions on each of those five days. The three sessions, commonly known as the morning, afternoon and evening sessions, last for around two hours a piece and just like the shorter formats of the game, each over is made up of 6 ball overs.

Each side gets the opportunity to bat twice in a Test match, with the winner being the side that scores the most combined runs over their two innings. Teams are made up of 11 cricketers a side with players kitted out in traditional white clothing and a red ball is used by both sides. Each innings is ended when the opposition side bowls the other side out, with 10 wickets required in order to achieve this. Batting sides that bat really well can choose to declare an innings at any given point, effectively deciding that they have made enough runs at that point in the match to start looking at bowling the opposition out. This happens quite a lot in Test match cricket for various reasons.

During a teams first innings of the match the batting teams captain might declare an innings because he feels his side already has enough runs on the board to get on with looking to bowl the opposition out twice, which he needs to do in order for his side to win the Test match. This would usually occur when a side has already racked up a score of over 500. A declaration is more common during a batting sides second innings of the match, as often this would be towards the back end of a Test match. With time running out to force a victory, the batting side might have a lead of say 350 with only a days play (90 overs) left in the Test. Here a captain may feel he has enough runs to be safe in knowing the opposition can't chase this amount of runs down on a fifth day wicket, so batting on himself would be fruitless. Ideally there will be no need for declarations as often this suggests the match is either too one sided, or the pitch is very flat and favours batting too much.

If neither side is bowled out twice then we have the possibility of a drawn match, even after five days of action.

The quality of a Test match is so often down to the state of the pitch (or wicket) that the groundsman serves up. The perfect Test match wicket will offer some assistance for the seamers on the first day, then it will flatten out to be a good batting wicket on days two and three, before starting to take spin on days four and five. This means batsman, pace bowlers and spinners will all get favourable conditions at some point during the Test match and as such we are likely to see an exciting, close game.

Perhaps the most important ingredient in a wicket for all parties to succeed, prosper and entertain is the need for bounce. A Test match wicket without bounce usually produces a reasonably dull, high scoring Test which so often peters out to be a draw. Little bounce for the bowlers not only makes it hard to take wickets, it also makes strokeplay harder for the batsmen, meaning slow scoring rates and turgid cricket. A fast bowler will like bounce to help him make life uncomfortable for a batsman, whilst a spinner will need some bounce (arguably more than he needs turn/spin) in order to get the batsman caught out. As indicated above, the majority of high quality batsman will also like some bounce as it allows them to score runs freely by hitting boundaries as opposed having to grind out a score in just one's, two's and three's.


1 - Betting On Test Cricket Online
2 - Test Cricket Betting Odds Explained
3 - Test Cricket Value Bets
4 - Test Cricket Betting Explained
5 - Best Test Cricket Betting Strategies
6 - Test Cricket Betting Spreadsheet
7 - Selecting A Bookmaker For Test Cricket Betting
8 - Test Cricket Free Bets & Bookmaker Offers
9 - Test Cricket Live Streaming
10 - Following Test Cricket Betting Tips

1 - Betting On Test Cricket Online

The first recognised Test match was played out in Melbourne way back in 1877 between Australia and England. Test matches generally started out as being 'timeless' back then, meaning the match would go on until one side either bowled the other side out twice to win, or chased down a fourth innings runs total successfully. The last ever timeless Test was held back in 1939 in Durban, as South Africa and England played out a drawn Test match after 9 days play spread over 12 days. England were well on their way to chasing the small matter of 696 to win the Test when the match was forced to conclude so the tourists could catch the boat home!

Due to the obvious issues involving scheduling, timeless Tests were soon scrapped and five days play was set as being the maximum allowable time in which a single Test should be completed in.

As of 2018 there are twelve cricketing nations that have Test match status awarded by the International Cricket Council (ICC) They are listed below alongside the year they played their first Test match -

#1 – Australia – (1877)
#2 – England – (1877)
#3 – South Africa – (1889)
#4 – West Indies (1928)
#5 – New Zealand – (1930)
#6 – India – (1932)
#7 – Pakistan (1952)
#8 – Sri Lanka (1982)
#9 – Zimbabwe – (1992)
#10 – Bangladesh – (2000)
#11 – Ireland – (2018)
#12 – Afghanistan – (2018)

The ICC have been reluctant to hand out further Test playing status' to the likes of Ireland, Kenya and the Netherlands in recent years, despite all three Associate member nations upsetting multiple Full member nations in various One Day Cricket World Cup's. The new brigade aren't helped by the time it took for many of the above nations to register their first Test victory. The now mighty India took 24 Tests before winning their first match whereas New Zealand took an incredible 42 attempts. The most recent nation to gain Full Test status, Bangladesh, took 34 goes before registering their first Test win.

Test Cricket records

Test cricket records are a major part of the games long and rich history. Players and teams in the modern era are forever compared with greats of the past and each Test match gives the opportunity for an individual, partnership or team the chance to break a long standing record that was perhaps set over a hundred years ago.

Sachin Tendulkar is perhaps the most famous cricketer to have played Test cricket. The Indian great played 200 Test matches between 1989 and 2013 in which he scored an incredible 15,921 career runs – the most runs in Test cricket scored by anybody. Sachin is a hero in his homeland and his 51 Test match hundreds are also the most anybody has compiled. As a sign of the amount of Test matches played in the modern day in comparison to years gone by, 9 of the 10 top Test match run scorers of all-time played the majority of their cricket post 1995 and into the 2000's.

The top three bowlers on the all-time Test match wicket taking list are spinners. Anil Kumble (619), Shane Warne (708) and Muttiah Muralitharan (800) shared over 3,000 Test match wickets between them, dominating many sides batting line-ups in the 1990's and 2000's.

Without doubt the most famous series played out in Test matches is The Ashes. This is a five match series played out every two years between Australia and England. This series was given its name courtesy of a newspaper article that declared cricket in England as dead after an 1882 series defeat to the touring Australian's. Its body would be cremated and shipped to Australia, so went the story. The next series down under saw England awarded a small trophy for their series victory; a trophy rumoured to be the contents of burnt wooden bails that sat on top of a set of stumps.

Here's a list of the most popular Test match series trophies that are up for grabs, and the teams that contest them -

#1 – The Ashes (Australia v England)
#2 – Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Australia v India)
#3 – Basil D'Oliveira Trophy – (England v South Africa)
#4 – Wisden Trophy – (England v West Indies)
#5 – Pataudi Trophy – (England v India)
#6 – Warne-Muralitharan Trophy (Australia v Sri Lanka)
#7 – Trans-Tasman Trophy (New Zealand v Australia)

All of the ten playing Test nations look to play each other in some sort of cycle, but in recent years there has been a big shift in the way Test matches are scheduled. Tests involving India, England and Australia (the big three as they are also known as) command the biggest figures for television money, and as such those three nations, alongside South Africa, tend to play series against each other every two years. This means Test cricket in the other playing nations tends to be of a lower quality and as such television companies do not bring in anywhere near as much money for Tests played in those countries. This is perhaps why One Day and T20 cricket is taking over the playing schedule more and more.

With no World Cup for Test matches, it is difficult to truly gauge who is the best Test side at any given time, especially as several years can pass before sides play each other. Ranking points are available for Test match victories and as such the ICC award a mace like trophy to a side that reaches the top of the Test cricket ranking table. For the majority of the 2000's the number one side in Test cricket was Australia. Steve Waugh, and latterly Ricky Ponting, led a hugely successful Australian Test match side to multiple series wins both home and away. Since 2009 South Africa, India and England have all reached the summit of the Test world rankings at one stage or another.

2 - Test Betting Odds Explained

Test cricket odds are very smiliar to football odds, in that match result betting accounts for either both teams winning the Test match or the match ending in a draw. Regardless of the odds format, if you are serious about betting on Test cricket, you need to understand what betting odds represent. To put it simply as possible, betting odds reflect the probability of a given outcome occurring. This probability is often referred to as the 'implied probability'. For example, let's say that India are at odds of 2.60 to win an upcoming Test match against Pakistan. What do the odds of 2.60 for India represent? In this example, according to the bookmaker odds, India has a 38.5% chance of winning the Test match. The implied probability can be calculated as:

Implied probability = 1 / decimal odds

Understanding betting odds is crucial to betting on any sport and Test match cricket is no different.

For more advice on betting odds and what they mean take a look at these articles:

How To Bet On Cricket: A Beginners Guide
How To Convert Odds To Probability
Betting Odds Explained

3 - Test Cricket Value Bets

Once you have developed an understanding of Test cricket betting odds, it's important that you understand the concept of betting value. What is betting value? Betting value is a situation where you consider the chances of a given outcome to be greater than the probability implied by the bookmaker's odds. To put it as bluntly as possible, you should only bet when you believe their is betting value on offer.

Determining betting value requires a simple calculation:

Value = (Decimal Odds * Your Assessed Probability) - 1

So let's consider our previous example. If we were offered odds of 2.60 (with an implied probability of 38.5%) for India to defeat Pakistan in an upcoming Test match and we consider the likelihood of India winning the match to be 45%, then we have a value betting opportunity. Why is it a value betting opportunity? Because our assessed likelihood is greater than that implied in the bookmaker's odds.

For more information on betting value and Test match staking strategies, read the following articles.

How To Bet On Cricket: A Beginners Guide
What Is Value Betting?
How To Find Value Bets
Calculating The Perfect Bet Stake
How To Manage Your Betting Bankroll

4 - Test Cricket Betting Explained

The most common bet for a punter to place on an individual Test match or a Test match series is of course the match outcome result. Win, Lose or Draw are the three possible outcomes for both matches and series.

Top team innings batsman is always a popular market with punters. Whereas in limited overs cricket it often pays to back a top order batsman in this market, in Tests it could often pay to back someone further down the order who might bat when conditions are easier (older ball, flatter pitch, tired bowling attack etc.) Naturally conditions dictate the likelihood of this scenario happening - read the below strategies section for a more in depth cricket betting tips guide on this subject.

Top team innings wicket taker is similar to the above market, but naturally relates to bowlers as opposed batsmen. Read up on whether or not a wicket is likely to assist a certain type of bowler. Will the conditions suit a swing bowler perhaps due to overhead conditions? Will the pitch have a hint of live grass, perhaps suiting a seam bowler? Will a spinner even be needed in that particular innings etc etc.

Man of the match is awarded to a player that makes a telling contribution to the outcome of the Test match. This is so often won by either a batsman that tends to score big hundreds, or a bowler that takes four or five wicket hauls in an innings. Punters can get bet on this market with all traditional bookmakers.

A popular in play betting market in Tests is an over/under runs line which is set at the start of an innings and changes throughout the duration depending on whether runs are scored or wickets are taken. Naturally if a wicket falls, that run line decreases. If a partnership builds, then that run line increases.

You can also bet on an over/under wickets line after a certain period of time, such as how many wickets will fall after say 10 overs. This is an excellent market to bet on if you think batting might be extremely tough or alternatively extremely easy against the new ball.

5 - Best Test Cricket Betting Strategies

There are a number of ways to find betting value in Test Cricket. Here we list the most important things to consider when placing your bets on T29 cricket.

Be aware of the weather

The weather can play a big part in determining the outcome of a Test match. Five days appears to be a long time, but if significant time is lost due to rain then naturally the likelihood of the Test being a draw increases as less cricket can be played. If rain comes on the opening couple of days, we can make overs and time up on the remaining days of the Test. However, any rain on days four and five and we are highly likely to lose overs. It isn't just rain that we should look for; what about overhead conditions? Traditionally cloudy conditions will assist seam bowlers move the ball off the pitch or through the air with swing – check the forecast both pre-match and in-play during Test cricket live. Used intelligently it can give us an edge when looking for value in our cricket betting tips.

The toss is so often crucial

The pitch looks flat, the sun is shining and the opposition opening batsmen looked in great form in the previous Test. Losing the toss and fielding first in this type of scenario can see a pre-match result outcome bet all but lose before a ball is even bowled, as its odds on that the opposition are going to rack up 500+ before your team even get a bat.

On the other side of the coin (so to speak) it could be a cloudy, humid day, with live grass present on the pitch. The side you backed has a slightly fragile looking top order and before you know it find themselves batting in the hardest conditions of the Test and are 60-6 at lunch on Day One. Your pre-match bet has lost any value it had in the first session of the Test courtesy of a lost toss and your side having to bat first in tough conditions.

A free cricket betting tip is to always wait till after the toss has occurred when placing a pre-match result outcome bet. We can control a lot of things when betting through research and experience; the flip of a coin is not one of them.

How will the pitch play

Read up on ground history to see how a surface tends to play. Will it suit fast bowlers on the first day? Will spinners gain significant advantages through a dry, dusty surface in the later parts of the Test? Will cracks appear in the surface of the pitch towards the end of the match, making it very difficult for the side batting last. Or alternatively will the surface stay pretty much the same over the five days, meaning each days play should follow the previous days because conditions haven't altered enough to favour a certain skill? and its statsguru page gives a full history of all Test match cricket grounds and players and can guide us in the correct direction when placing our Test match cricket bets.

Home team advantage

Test matches series are so often won by the side playing at home. There is an excellent article here explaining how in recent years winning Test matches abroad is so much harder than perhaps previous eras. The fact is bowlers know how to bowl on many of the grounds in question and batsmen know how to bat on certain surfaces. Also extreme hot and humid conditions would naturally be far easier for a Sri Lankan cricketer to deal with than an Englishman, who would be more experienced in playing in colder, damper conditions.

6 - Test Cricket Betting Spreadsheet

Keeping a record of your betting results is key to being a profitable T20 bettor. By keeping track of each of your bets you will soon see what you are doing right and where you are going wrong. To assist you, we've developed the bettingexpert T20 cricket betting spreadsheet. It's free and available to download now.

Download the bettingexpert Cricket Betting Spreadsheet.

Our Cricket betting spreadsheet is easy to use. Simply enter the tournament, series or match you are betting on, the date, the bet description, your stake, the odds and the bookmaker you placed the bet with. Then once the event is over, select either Win, Loss or Refund from the Result options and the spreadsheet will calculate your profit or loss plus keep a running profit/loss and your overall T20 cricket betting ROI. 

cricket betting spreadsheet

7 - Selecting A Bookmaker For Test Cricket Betting

William Hill offer the widest range of markets for betting on Test cricket online in our opinion. They cover all the obvious leading markets that we mentioned above, plus offer specialist side markets that we like such as individual player performance points over/under markets. This is where a player is scored 1pt a run, 10pts a catch, 20pts a wicket or 25pts a stumping throughout the duration of a match. 

Skybet tend to cover all Test matches, even including matches played out between smaller nations such as Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. As a marketplace leader, Skybet often offer some of the best prices on offer for top batsman markets, including regular price boosts in play. A price boost is where a bookmaker offers a slightly bigger price for a certain market that tends to be much bigger than anything else being offered in the industry.

Away from traditional sportsbooks, a growing way of betting on cricket is to concentrate on Sports Betting Exchanges. Exchanges such as Betfair or Betdaq cricket odds offer the chance to trade the outcome of a Test match, meaning skilled punters/traders can back or lay all three possible results of any Test and still make a profit no matter what the result. To do this not only takes patience, experience and skill, but also a considerable bankroll to ensure liability is covered. Done correctly, trading a Test match can be profitable given the ebb and flow nature of a match over the course of five full days.

8 - Test Cricket Free Bets & Promotional Offers

Paddy Power not often have the best cricket betting odds, they also offer the widest range of promotional offers on many cricket markets. One such promotion that has appeared over recent Ashes series has been their generous offer to double your original odds if your top team batsmen bet scores a century. This is a great offer if you fancied a top order batsman to top score but thought his 3.00 price might be on the skinny side. If you backed him and he made a hundred, Paddy Power would pay out as a 6.00 winner.

Betfair cricket had an offer during a recent Ashes series in which an existing customer that placed four £5.00 bets in play during a singles days Test cricket would get a free £5.00 bet on each of the remaining days of that same Test match. Cricket odds betfair are some of the most generous around and offers like this attract many punters to sign up to use their sportsbook.

To see a detailed list of all current free bet and bookmaker promotions available, please refer to our Bookmaker Free Bets page. Everything you need to know about free bets and bookmaker promotions.

9 - Test Cricket Live Streaming

Live Test cricket streaming can often be found at a number of bookmakers hroughout the year. Test matches hosted in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, New Zealand and the UAE (where Pakistan play they home matches) are broadcast live alongside their cricket odds, meaning punters can place bets in play alongside live cricket streaming HD pictures for free. The only exception to the above is when England or India are touring the above countries. 

Read our guide to bookmaker live streams to learn more about this increasingly popular and useful feature.

10 - Test Cricket Betting Tips

Profitable Test cricket betting tips and predictions are not as easy to locate on the web as we might like. In fact, going on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, you'll find any number of so called cricket tipsters sharing their predictions. But how many of these tipsters are truly profitable? How many have a record of success over a large sample size? At bettingexpert we believe in full transparency, especially when it comes to our own cricket tips. When you visit our cricket betting tips page, you will see each of the current cricket betting tips available as well as each tipster's overall betting record, their ROI% and their profit/loss.

For all the latest Test cricket betting tips and predictions, visit the bettingexpert cricket betting tips page. Or perhaps you consider yourself a Test cricket tipster? If so, sign up with bettingexpert now and begin posting your Test cricket tips. Not only is posting regular cricket tips a great way of improving your cricket betting, but you'll also be in the running for monthly cash prizes. Sign up with bettingexpert today.

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