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Cricket Formats

The main difference between different formats of cricket is that some matches are limited by time while others are limited by overs. The first kind is called first-class cricket and has both teams playing two innings each. The time to play these matches can be anywhere between 3 and 5 days. The second type which is limited by overs is called limited-overs cricket and can have either 50 or 20 overs each.

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Test Matches

First-class cricket played at the international level is called Test Cricket. It is played over 5 days with both teams batting twice. The pitch conditions and weather play an important part in Test Cricket as these factors can change and vary on each of the 5 days. As the pitch grows older, it might or might not offer spin/pace, giving an advantage to the batsmen or bowlers.

Test matches normally have 90 overs per day and have 3 sessions each day: the morning session, followed by the post lunch session and third session which is played after Tea. If the match does not have a result after 5 days, it is declared a draw irrespective of which team has scored more runs.

One Day Internationals

ODIs are the most popular form of limited overs cricket and has been around since the 1970s. Played in a day as the name suggests this could be a day match or a day-night match (which usually starts in the afternoon). Both teams have 50 overs each and the team that scores more wins.

Twenty20 Cricket

T20 cricket is the latest form of cricket that has been around since 2005. It is popular because it takes only 3 hours to play a match and is just like ODIs, except that each innings has only 20 overs. While pitch and toss can be consequential, this is also an exciting format where you can win matches just by hitting big. And this is exactly what makes T20 cricket very exciting.

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