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The Number Game: The Toss Factor In T20 World Cup 2021

Rishabh Gautam
By Rishabh Gautam
November 02, 2021 • 11:26 AM View: 2126

In the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE, 16 matches have been played in the Super 12 stages yet. The majority of the matches have been low scoring as the pitches in UAE have been difficult to score this time around. 

England, Australia & Pakistan are looking like the strongest teams in the Super 12 now, as they have displayed a wonderful combination & balance between the bowling & batting departments. England & Australia have won the 2 matches they have played respectively in the Super 12 Group 1, while Pakistan has won 3 in 3 matches in Group 2, against India, New Zealand & Afghanistan and are looking the most probable contenders for the T20 title. 

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However, apart from batting, bowling, fielding, on-field tactics and strategies, another factor has emerged which seems to be the leading factor in deciding the result of the match - TOSS. 

In the ongoing T20 World Cup, toss has played a huge role in deciding the outcome of the match. Out of 16 matches played - in 11 matches teams who have won the toss & opted to bowl first have won the match; including the two matches of Team India.

The Indian side lost to arch-rivals Pakistan in the 4th match of the Super 12 stage of the T20 Tournament. In this match, Virat Kohli lost the toss, and India ended up losing the match by 10 wickets, failing to defend 151. In the match against New Zealand, India lost the toss once again & ended up batting first, posting a below-par score of 110.

In 13 out of 16 matches, the teams chasing the target have won the match. Only three times team batting first has won - Afghanistan won 2 matches batting first while West Indies were able to win one match batting first. 

And in 11 out of these 13 times, the team that has won the toss and opted to bowl first has won the match. This brings up the question - does winning the toss confirm the win in your favour in this ICC T20 Tournament? 

In the 5th match between Afghanistan & Scotland, Afghanistan batted first and ended up winning by 130 runs. Afghanistan team management trusts their bowlers more and is confident that they can defend any score. In the 20th match between England & Bangladesh. Bangladesh won the toss, opted to bat first and ended up losing. 

In the 23rd match between Bangladesh and West Indies, this time Bangladesh decided to bowl first and still ended up losing. In the 24th match between Afghanistan & Pakistan, Afghanistan played to their strength and opted to bat first but ended up losing against the over-powered Pakistan side. And in the 27th match, Afghanistan again opted to bat first against Namibia but this time ended up winning. 

These were the only 5 instances in the Super 12 stage yet where the captain hasn't opted to bowl first and won the match. In the rest of the 11 matches, which were between more evenly matched sides, the team which won the toss & opted to bowl first eventually went on to win the match. 

Captains winning the toss and deciding to bowl first in UAE according to the current situations makes sense. While batting second, the bowling side has to deal with dew. Because of dew, the ball constantly gets wet and the bowlers struggle to grip the ball and execute their plans. In addition to that, the pitch slows down and so it's easy for the team batting second to score runs more easily.  

Also Read: T20 World Cup 2021

This trend that has emerged in this world cup, that if you win the toss you win the match - can prove to be distasteful for the cricket fans. At the toss itself, we get an idea of who's gonna win the match. All of the efforts, hard work and preparation put into representing your country in a Global event and losing the match because of a coin toss may seem fair to some and unfair to many others. 


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