Boxing Day Tests have always been exciting. Whether it is the Ashes or it is a couple of competitive teams going up against each other – Boxing Day matches have always been a treat to watch. The fact that it is also a holiday season, helps bring in more and more crowd into the stadium, who come in to watch their favourite cricketers in action. South Africa and Zimbabwe will make history on the Boxing Day Test this time by becoming the first teams to play a 4-day Test, which will take place at St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth. ICC had approved the match earlier this year, keeping in mind the decline of Test cricket with the emergence of many T20 leagues around the world.
The fact that is a day-night Test is an icing on the cake. With a day reduced from the match, it is sure to have certain implications on the rules. Let us take a look at some of the changes in playing conditions.
Minimum number of overs: In 5-day Tests, a minimum of 90 overs are bowled per day, however in 4-day Tests a minimum of 98 overs need to be bowled in a day.
Hours of play: A total of 6 and a half hours will be played on a single day unlike 5-day Tests, where just 6 hours of play happens
Overtime: A Maximum of half an hour extra will be given to teams to finish their 98 overs for the day.
Follow-on: In the 5-day format a minimum lead of 200 is required to enforce the follow-on. However, a lead of 150 runs is enough in the 4-day Tests to enforce follow-on.
Time not carried forward: If time permitted, the lost overs would be made up in the consequent days. However, other than the 30 extra minutes each day, no extra time will be given in the days to follow to make up for the overs.