Has the time come to reduce the duration of Test matches to four days? 

The England cricket team’s first Test match of 2020 starts against South Africa in Cape Town tomorrow, with the visitors eager to level the series after last week’s opener at Centurion. That ended in victory for the home side on the fourth day of a match scheduled to last five.

Over the past two years more than half of Tests have been completed inside four days. With so much international cricket being played nowadays in various formats, has the time come to reduce the duration of Test matches to four days from five?

Most Tests have been official five-day affairs for decades and in 1979 it was decreed that all should be played to this format. But the rule is being eroded. Last summer, England…