Win toss, win match and why Kohli was right: Decoding importance of toss in Tests

Updated on Feb 26, 2020 09:22 AM IST
The hosts are so strong in their own backyard that it has become almost impossible for oppositions to defeat them when they lose the toss.
Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson(REUTERS)
Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson(REUTERS)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

In his own boisterous, thundering way Team India head coach had said that his side would look to take toss out of the equation ahead of the New Zealand series and that the players will look to put in performances irrespective of conditions. This statement was a result of India’s dominant run in home conditions when toss really did not matter, but after India capitulated in Wellington, Virat Kohli confessed that toss did make a huge difference. Yes, there were other factors at play as well, but losing the toss and batting first under grey skies and on a green surface had a huge bearing on the result in Wellington.

Indian batting was sent packing for 165 in the first innings and this where, New Zealand cornered all the momentum and this is just an extrapolation of what has been happening in India, Australia and New Zealand. The hosts are so strong in their own backyard that it has become almost impossible for oppositions to defeat them when they lose the toss.

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Factor this:

Since 2010, Australia have won the toss in 29 matches at home and have gone on to clinch the match on 21 occasions. New Zealand are even more impressive - they have won 10 out of the 17 matches they have won the toss in and have never lost any match after the coin fell in their favour.

India have been equally dominant at home. They have won 18 out of the 23 matches their captain has got the coin to fall in his favour. They have lost only 2 matches.

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There is a pattern, there is a template and for teams to beat the host nation, toss does play an important factor.

“Day one it was probably the toss that turned out to be very important,” Kohli said. “But at the same time, as a batting unit, we take a lot of pride in being competitive, and we were just not competitive enough. I don’t think we put their bowlers under enough pressure in the first innings. Anything over 220-230, then you are talking a different language. Even the deficit looks much lesser if you get that score on the board - and if you get the last three batsmen out cheaper, which wasn’t the case... But yeah, that first innings put us behind the game already, and that lead put us under pressure, which was hard to come back from.”

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