What is Follow On in Cricket?

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Test-Cricket is not everyone’s cup of tea. Test is a real Gentleman’s game. But Test cricket rules is not the same as limited over rules. It’s a bit complicated and confusing.

There are several rules in Test which do not applies in limited over like –

  1. No free-hit will be given after no-ball
  2. Two decision reviews allowed for every team per inning.
  3. Follow On is also specific only to Test Cricket

These were the rules which are only specific to Test cricket. This does not apply in T20 like IPL, Big Bash league and ODIs.

What is Follow On in Cricket?

Basically, Follow On is a rule in which Team which has batted the second may be forced by the team who batted first to bat again if they have a lead of minimum 200 runs.

However, minimum runs differ from total days declared for that match. In general, Test Cricket is played for 5 days in which minimum lead for Follow On is 200 runs but in 3-4 days Cricket matches minimum lead is 150 runs. This same happens if the match is of only 1-2 days which in general played only in the national or local level.

For example, Let Team India batted first and made 500 rs in the first inning, then Australia batted and made just 260 runs. So, here team India got lead of 240 runs and the captain now can enforce follow on. Let captain enforced follow on, then Australia batted again in the 3rd inning and made 250 runs. Now, team India has to make just 10 runs to win this game and if Australia had made less than 240 runs than automatically India l win.

This was all about What is Follow On in Cricket.

What are the advantages of Follow On?

Some of the advantages of giving Follow On to the other team is listed below-:

  1. It saves one inning which eventually saves time and energy of the players.
  2. It boosts the confident of the team and eventually reduces confidence of opposition as it looks that the team who have given Follow On is better than them.
  3. It boosts the confidence of bowlers because it send them signal that captain has trust on them and sended them again to take 10 wickets again.
  4. If the bowling condition is favourable, then it’s always good to give follow on as it becomes easier for bowlers to take wickets and eventually, win the game.

What are the disadvantages of Follow On?

Some of the biggest disadvantages of giving Follow On is listed below-:

  1. Usually, bowlers get tired after bowling an inning and making them bowl again and again could lead them getting more tired and loose bowling.
  2. If the opposition team played very well and scored much more runs than it would lead in decreasing the confidence and increase in the pressure on batsman and other players.

Series of Follow On

Traditional series

  1. Team Batting first
  2. Team Batting second
  3. Team Batting first
  4. Team batting second

Follow On series

  1. Team batting first
  2. Team batting second
  3. Team batting second
  4. Team batting first

Till now (20 August 2020), 4784 Test matches have been played and 286 times follow on has been enforced and in 286 times, 225 times the team which had enforced follow on has won, 3 times lost and 58 times drawn.

One more thing to remember:

If the first day loses off due to rain then, the minimum runs for giving follow on decreases to 150.

For example, the first-day play loses between India and Australia because of rain then the minimum runs for giving follow on to another team decreases from 200 to 150 runs.

However, this do not apply if the day loses off in the middle of game because the match has been established and balanced once the game begins.


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