How Much Time is a Break in Test Cricket?


Test cricket is a form of cricket that is played over five days, with each day consisting of three sessions. The game is known for its unique challenges and strategic gameplay. In between these sessions, players take breaks to rest, strategize, and recharge. The duration of these breaks is crucial, as it can impact the overall momentum and performance of the teams. In this article, we will delve into the concept of breaks in cricket, exploring their significance, duration, and how they influence the game’s outcome.

Understanding Test Cricket

What is Test Cricket?

Test Cricket

Test cricket is the longest format of the sport, where teams compete for five days, with each team having two innings. It demands endurance, skill, and tactics from players.

The Role of Breaks in Test Cricket

Breaks play a vital role in Test cricket, as they allow players to recover physically and mentally. They also provide an opportunity for captains and coaches to devise new strategies and make game-changing decisions.

Duration of Breaks in Test Cricket

Test Cricket

Lunch Break

The lunch break in Test cricket typically lasts for 40 minutes. It takes place around midday and serves as a more extended pause during the game.

Tea Break

The tea break lasts for 20 minutes and is scheduled in the afternoon session. Players get a chance to refresh themselves during this time.

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Drinks Break

A quick drink break of 5 minutes is allowed during each session, mainly to keep the players hydrated, especially in hot and humid conditions.

Change of Innings

Between the first and second innings, there is a break that lasts for 10 minutes. It allows players to switch their roles as batsmen and bowlers.

Rain Delay

In case of rain, play can be halted for an extended period. The duration of such breaks depends on the weather conditions and the ground’s ability to recover.

Test Cricket

The Impact of Breaks on the Game

Breaks can significantly influence the dynamics of a Test match. They offer critical opportunities for players and teams to:

Regroup and Strategize

During breaks, players can discuss their performances, assess the pitch and weather conditions, and devise plans to counter the opposition effectively.

Recover Energy

Test matches can be physically grueling, and breaks provide players with a chance to rest, rehydrate, and regain their energy levels.

Change the Momentum

A well-timed break can disrupt the flow of a dominant team and allow the other team to stage a comeback.

The Psychology of Breaks

Dealing with Pressure

Breaks can be mentally taxing, especially during a closely contested match. Players need to manage their emotions and stay focused on the game.

Battling Complacency

A big challenge during breaks is to avoid complacency, especially when a team is in a comfortable position. Maintaining the competitive edge is crucial.


In Test cricket, breaks are more than just intervals between sessions; they are pivotal moments that can shape the course of the game. The duration of each break is carefully planned to ensure that players have adequate time to recover and strategize. Understanding the significance of breaks and their impact on the players’ physical and mental state is crucial for cricket enthusiasts to appreciate the nuances of this beautiful game.


How many breaks are there in a day of Test cricket?

In a day of Test cricket, there are three main breaks: lunch break, tea break, and the change of innings break.

Can players leave the field during breaks?

Yes, players can leave the field during scheduled breaks. They use this time to rest, rehydrate, and discuss tactics with their teammates.

What happens if play is interrupted by rain during a Test match?

If play is interrupted by rain, the match may continue after the rain stops, and the ground is fit for play. If the weather conditions do not improve, the match may be abandoned or drawn.

What is the significance of the drinks break?

The drinks break allows players to stay hydrated and combat the physical demands of the game, particularly in challenging weather conditions.

Do all Test matches last for five days?

Not all Test matches last for five days. If one team wins before the scheduled five days are completed, the match ends early. However, some matches end in a draw if time runs out without a clear winner.

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