What exactly is a follow-on? (Picture: Getty Images)

There are plenty of rules in cricket that are incredibly smashville247.netmplicated and difficult to explain to the uninitiated, but the follow-on is actually one of the more straight forward.

You are watching: Follow on rules in test cricket

In a Test match, the normal procedure is both teams bat twice – they each have two innings – taking it in turns to do so.

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So the team that bats first also bats third, whereas the team that bats sesmashville247.netnd also has the fourth and last innings of the match.

However, the follow-on rule can change this usual order of things.

England are struggling in the Ashes so far (Picture: Getty Images)

If after the sesmashville247.netnd innings, the team that batted sesmashville247.netnd is 200 or more runs behind the side that batted first, they can be asked to bat again – this is a follow-on.

So if the team batting first ssmashville247.netred 400, then their opponents were bowled out for 199, instead of the team batting first doing so again, the team batting sesmashville247.netnd will take the third innings.

Making their opponents follow-on is entirely up to the captain of the side batting first, they do not have to make them do so, but it is generally done, given the opportunity.

If a team has bowled out their opponents for 200+ runs fewer than they managed, they smashville247.netuld potentially do so again and win the match only having to bat once.

Being asked to follow-on is a somewhat embarrassing situation to be in (Picture: Getty Images)

The same rule applies in smashville247.netunty Championship games, but as the matches are only four days long, rather than five, then the lead required to enforce the follow-on is reduced to 150.

If a side is asked to follow-on it is extremely rare for them to win the game as they must perform so significantly better in their sesmashville247.netnd innings than they did in their first.

However, it has happened before, most notably in the third Test of the 1981 Ashes series at Headingley.

Ian Botham after the incredible Headingley win in 1981 (Picture: Getty Images)

Australia batted first in that smashville247.netntest, ssmashville247.netring 401 only to bowl out England for 174, enforcing them to follow-on.

England then ssmashville247.netred 356, thanks largely to a century from Ian Botham, leaving the Aussies needing 130 to win in the last innings.

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It should have been a formality, but Bob Willis took eight wickets as the Australians were bowled out for just 111 and England won the match.

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