Journal of the Operational Research Society

, Volume 62, Issue 11, pp 1931–1940 | Cite as

An analysis of strategy in the first three innings in test cricket: declaration and the follow-on

General Paper


This paper analyses declaration and the follow-on decisions in test cricket. We model the match outcome given the end of first, second and third innings positions; data on 391 test matches, from the period 1997 to 2007, are used to fit the models. We then investigate how declaration strategy should vary from innings to innings, and how the nature and strength of the covariate effects vary. As the match progresses, the explanatory power of the covariates increases (from 44% at the end of the first innings to 80% at the end of the third). Home advantage and the effects of team strengths decrease. Overs-remaining, or equivalently overs used, and the number of runs by which the reference team lead their opponents remain important throughout. The follow-on decision problem is also briefly considered, and surprisingly, we find that the decision to enforce the follow-on or otherwise has no effect on match outcome.


cricket multinomial logistic regression strategy 



We are grateful to two referees for their comments; these helped to improve the paper. We would also like to thank Dr Xin Shi who collected some of the data that we analyse.


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Copyright information

© Operational Research Society 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SalfordSalfordUK

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