Test Cricket betting requires some patience. After all, it does last up to five days! But it can be profitable if you know how to do it right.


Test Match cricket is for the cricket purist, the ultimate form of the game. Just like for the average cricket fan, Test cricket betting won’t be for every fan of cricket betting fan given the whole thing lasts a maximum of five days and rarely less than four. But test match betting provides very different and potentially very profitable opportunities for the cricket punter to what you’d find in limited-overs matches.

For those patient enough to wait for five days before they can get their money and those eager to trade their position during a game as it ebbs and flows, it can be very rewarding.


Test Cricket Betting: Home advantage crucial


Test cricket Betting:  Opposing the hosts is a risky business…

At the moment there’s an even stronger bias than usual in terms of the home team winning the vast majority of their matches and at the very least, not losing them. Teams like England, India, Australia and South Africa make the most of knowing the conditions on their own turf, pick their side accordingly, take advantage of home support and it all makes it very hard for the tourists to win Test matches away from home. Even Bangladesh are very competitive on their own patch these days and despite not actually playing at ‘home’, Pakistan have made the UAE, where they do play, a fortress.

England love playing at their grounds where the ball swings and bends with wonderful exponents of swing bowling like James Anderson and Stuart Broad almost unplayable at times. Their swing bowlers can decimate opponents’ batting line-ups whereas their own batsmen, like Joe Root and Alastair Cook, are used to the ball moving in the air from having grown up with those conditions, so know how to deal with it.

But go and play India in India and it’s very different challenges you’re facing. The hosts will often pack their team with spinners like Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav and bowl relentless spells of inch-perfect spin bowling, where batsmen are forced to play at every ball with bowled, caught behind, LBW and stumpings all coming into the equation. Then when it’s India’s turn to bat wonderful players of spin like Virat Kohli and Chet Pujara will just go about their business rotating the strike and punishing the bad ball to the boundary for hours on end, making the minefield that their opponents were batting on look like a featherbed.

And if the turning wickets don’t get you, the heat, humidity, pollution and raucous crowds probably will.

All in all, winning an away Test these days, let alone a Series, requires huge amounts of guts, skills, patience and determination.

The problem is that the bookies aren’t oblivious to just how good some teams are at home so you’ll often be offered pretty skinny prices on the Australias and Indias at home. And of course piling into a 1.5 shot in a game that could last five days and where plenty of unexpected things can happen, comes with plenty of downside and not that much upside.


Test Cricket Betting: Upsets do happen in Test cricket

Of course they do, just like any other sport. In 2017 Australia defied the odds to go 1-0 up in India in Pune. If you’d studied the stats you’d know that the side winning the toss at Pune automatically has a huge advantage because the wicket gets worse and worse during the Test match, meaning that the side batting last in the fourth innings will have to deal with huge turn, irregular bounce and cracks on the wicket.

Hindsight is a fine thing but knowing that winning the toss and batting first when it’s easier to score runs is a huge bonus presents an opportunity to back the outsider- after all a coin toss is the ultimate example of a 50/50 bet. If the coin can go your way, the odds on the outsider will have shortened significantly before a ball is bowled in anger. It could be worth the risk.

But it can also work the other way. Sometimes it’s bowling first that gives you the big edge. At some grounds in England and South Africa where the ball seams a lot on day one you want to bowling first, doing the damage up front and then bat yourself when conditions are easier on day two and three.

If you think that winning the coin toss can give the outsider a big chance one way or another (bowling first or batting first) then it could be worth the risk especially if you’re trading your position on Betfair throughout the match.



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Other factors


Of course the conditions on the day and coin toss are only part of the story regarding getting value in the match winner market when you’re betting on one team or another. (see the section on the draw for betting on the stalemate).

Some teams historically have excellent records at a particular ground. Even if they lose the toss or get the worst of the conditions, they find a way to win. South Africa at Centurion, England at Edgbaston and Australia at Brisbane are all good examples of teams loving a particular ground.

But of course you’ve got to look at the available players as well. After all, they’re the ones who have to go out and do the business. Consider whether a team is missing key players through injury, because they’re being rested or other reasons. Sure, Australia are almost unbeatable at home but how will they fare if they’re without David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood for a Test?

Of course, any absences are factored into Test cricket betting prices but ask yourself if they’ve been factored in enough? Or too much. Maybe the [2.2] on Australia to beat Pakistan is stingy because whoever replaces those four can’t be trusted to perform to their levels. Or maybe two of those were out of form anyway and the other two have decent replacements who can come in for them so that’s a price worth taking despite those absences.

Also consider who’s in form. Someone like Joe Root is a class act and his career stats certainly prove that but he can be out of form, just like anyone else. Did he score runs in his previous Test?


Checklist for Test cricket betting on the Outsider/Tourists in Test cricket

  • Does the home side have an ordinary/poor record of winning at that ground?
  • Will the side winning the toss have a big advantage straight away?
  • Is the home side missing key players or are the key players who will be playing out of form?

If the answer to at least two of those questions is ‘yes’ then you might consider backing the outsider.


Indian customers can open an account with Royal Panda in order to bet on all Test matches involving India.  Indian customers can receive 2000 INR as a free bet when they sign up.


Remember that sports betting should primarily be seen as a form of entertainment. Please bet responsibly. If you feel you need help with your gambling habits contact www.begambleaware.org.



Photo By Rae Allen from Brisbane, Australia (20141217_101551) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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