24 Aug / 2011Test Match Criteria



In a Test match, if a player happens to score a century in the first innings, then (85 %) his team won’t lose that game, and it has remained the same in last 5 years.

On other hand, if a bowler picks a 5wicket haul in the first innings, then (75%)his team won’t lose that game, and it has remained the same in last 5 years.

  In the second innings, the chances of scoring a hundred is far less than picking 5 wickets haul, hence famous quote, “Test matches are won by bowlers”

Bowlers become more powerful and penetrative (with much support from weather & pitch)as game progresses. The last 2 days of a Test match is where fielding team picks wickets for less runs, and any formidable target(200+) is not easy to chase by team (success rate 5.13%).

Suggesting that first innings remains paramount factor for a Test match.



Centuries in Test matches
 Criteria Win(%) non-loss( %)
Batsman scoring a 100 in Test match   41.68% 85.56%
Batsman scoring a 100 in 1st inn   44.91% 88.99% 
Batsman scoring a 100 (1st bat/1st inn)  42.01%  89.25% 
Batsman scoring a 100 in last inn  32.14%  70.41% 


If a century is scored by an opener, than chances of winning, or not losing a Test match is maximized for a team, no other factor is more responsible than a opener’s contribution.


Neverthless, if one measure only “win factor”, then bowlers picking five wickets/inn have been more successful (51.35%), then batsman scoring centuries (41.66%), however it is only in the 2nd innings they become more powerful and effective.


Five wicket haul in Test Innings
Criteria Win (%) non-loss(%)
5wickets in a Test match 51.37% 75.76%
5wickets in 1st inn 39.33% 71.00%

5wickets (1st bowl)in 1st inn

39.22% 70.85%
5wickets in last inn 87.23% 93.62%

The highest number of 5wicket haul is picked by opening bowlers, but its the spinners(when not opening) who have marginal better win ratio when they pick a 5 wicket haul. 


Five wickets haul for Fast & Spin Bowlers (Win %)
Criteria Fast bowlers  Spinners 
5wickets haul  in a Test match  50.82% 53.13%
5wickets in 1st inn 39.42% 39.29%
5wickets(1st bowl)1st inn 39.45% 38.00%
5wickets in last inn 86.52% 87.88%


 India’s Test criteria  

Centuries for Indians
Centuries for Indian Batsman  Win(%) Non-loss(%)
Batsman scoring100 in  Test match 26.41% 84.11%
Batsman scoring100 in 1st inn 29.64% 88.27%
Batsman scoring100 (1st bat) in 1st inn 27.04% 92.45%
Batsman scoring100 in last inn 17.39% 21.74%


The ratio remains  same for Indian openers 



5wicket haul for Bowlers (fast and spin) and win ratio
5wicket haul (win %)  Fast bowlers Spinners 
5wickets haul in Test match 22.22% 46.02%
5wickets haul in 1st inn 9.86% 32.48%
5wickets haul (1st bowl)in 1st  inn 10.81% 29.09%
5wickets haul in last inn 83.33% 87.50%



All data processed from (1888-2011) including recently concluded Ind-Eng series. 



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