Every cricket match starts with a coin toss. This act of pure luck allows one team to take advantage of either the pitch or weather conditions by either batting or bowling first. Several matches have been won over the years because the team captain was able to make the right decision after winning the toss.
Now one thing to keep in mind is that no one can predict the toss correctly. If someone claims to have that ability, well then for the lack of a better word that person is a liar. There will always be a 50/50 chance of winning this type of bet. Bookmakers claiming to predict the coin toss 100% should not be entertained at all. Cricket betting sites offer this market for punters who just want a bit of fun when starting off their betting journey.
Predicting Who Will Win the Toss Today
Bookmakers will have a dedicated section on their site where you can navigate to and place a bet on the correct outcome of the coin toss. With Betway, the section is referred to as ‘Which team wins the coin toss’ and Unibet simply refers to it as ‘Toss Winner’. For those that are unfamiliar with the timings of a cricket match itself, the coin toss takes place at least 30 minutes before the first bowl is bowled. If the match is already underway then it is safe to say that you have missed the coin toss and will have to look for another match altogether if you want to take part in this bet.
Advantages of Winning the Toss
Every captain aims to get the best toss prediction for their team. As mentioned earlier, winning the toss can provide a big advantage to the team before the match has even started. By winning the toss, the captain might want to get the opponents into bat first if he / she feels uncertain about the nature of the match. As the match goes along, the captain will start to get a clearer picture with regards to the behaviour of the match and can adjust tactics accordingly.
For flat pitches such as those found in India, the preference is always to bat first. With heavy hitters in the Indian side, they will want to get in first and take advantage of the conditions and present a mammoth total for their opponents to chase. The same strategy is also favoured by the Pakistani team, but their reasoning is different. They have always relied on their formidable bowling attack to get them out of trouble and are more comfortable batting first and letting their bowlers rip through the opponents’ batting order.
The weather also has a hand to play in deciding what decision to make after winning the toss. If there are chances of rain, then the winning captain will choose to bowl first as the DLS system favours the team batting second.
The coin toss may seem trivial to you but the team that wins the toss ends up increasing their chances of winning a one day international by 4% and test match by 10%. Again, these might not seem like big numbers, but a team will gladly take any advantage given to them to win a match.
Does the Format of the Game matter when it comes to Toss Prediction?
T20: In the newest and shortest format of the game, the coin toss is not as important. The pitch and weather conditions don’t change too much in the span of 40 overs however over the years, captains have preferred to bowl first. In some matches, dew becomes a factor making it difficult for the bowlers to grip the bowl in the second half of the match.
ODI: In the 50 over match, correct toss prediction plays a bigger part than it does in the T20s. Factors such as dew and slowing down or crumbling of the pitch need to be taken into consideration. If the pitch is expected to slow down, then the team that wins the toss prefers to bat first as it becomes difficult to play the shots in the second half of the match. Similarly, to the t20 example, if dew is to be expected then bowling first is preferred.
Test Match: In the longest format of the game, winning the toss can be quite crucial. The pitch will no doubt change over the course of five matches and the same can be said about the weather. For pitches that have a layer of grass, the captain that wins the toss will want to bowl first to take advantage of the movement. As the match goes on, the grass will slowly fade out making it easier to bat in the next few days. The weather can also change over five days making it crucial for the captain to make the right decision of whether to bat or bowl first. Therefore, of the three formats mentioned above, the correct toss prediction affects test matches the most and the T20 the least.
Should ICC Ditch the Toss?
Over the last few years, the International Cricket Council has been debating the need of a coin toss altogether. It has become apparent that host nations create pitches that play to their strengths. Hence pitches in India are flat and favour the batsmen whereas the Australian pitches offer plenty of pace and bounce for the bowlers. ICC might abolish the toss in the future and let the visiting team choose whether they want to bowl or bat first.
Since 2018, the ICC have been toying with the idea of ditching the coin toss for test cricket as they declared that the host nations were getting the groundsmen to ensure that the pitch favours their playing style. They were thinking about just allowing the visiting team to choose whether they want to bat or bowl first.
We do hope that the coin toss is not removed as it adds a bit of excitement before the match has even begun!