Should We Eliminate Toss from Test Cricket

Once there had been fair amount of comment from South African Test captain Faf du Plessis to eliminate toss from Test cricket to erase some advantage.

Toss is one of the oldest traditions in test Cricket. But of late, voices have been raising to boycott the 143 year old tradition from the Red ball format to maintain the popularity by making it even Steven for the touring sides. The opinion was initially raised by Australian legend Steve Waugh and many Cricket pundits have responded in Steve’s way to bring up the touring team’s advantage to a certain point, which is getting worse day by day.

Faf du Plessis on their 2019 India tour:

After suffering shameful defeat to the Indians, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis had advised to get rid of the toss in test Cricket. “{ If toss is gotten rid of } then away teams had a better chance. In South Africa, I don’t mind that. We bat on green tops anyway.”  After losing two successive tosses to Virat Kohli, helpless Faf had even sent a proxy captain, Temba Bavuma, for the toss in the 3rd test, only to get back the same luck.

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Actually, the idea of leaving the toss has been appeared by PCB and ECB in their domestic structure . The idea i.e to give the away team a choice of opting batting or bowling first will make the game even before it begins. According to the reports, BCCI is also making a look to the idea.

The Proteas captain had also drawn the pattern of India’s playing which he thought is their success mantra. “Every test match they bat first, they score 500, they declare when it’s dark, they get three wickets…when day three starts, you are under pressure. It was like copy & paste in every test match.”

Stats of the teams about Toss:

But is their any guarantee that the home team will win the toss every time ? No, not at all. They may trap themselves in their own net, what exactly occurred against the Aussies in the rank turner of Pune 3years earlier.

Since 2013, including Pakistan in UAE and Afghanistan in India, teams have a win percentage of almost 60% , 17% better than the time of 2008 to 2012. That’s really a high figure considering that draws are also a part of the format. Leaving the toss means that the onus of preparing sporting wicket will be on the home team.

The Bigger Picture Of Successful Teams In India : 

The series that du Plessis was suggesting, their Batsman had lost 26 wickets at 18 to seamers in a nation that’s more suitable for the spinners. Is that because of the toss ? Or, is it because South Africa is lacking quality Batsman with better temperament and technique ?

Du Plessis has also got a positive support from South Africa born English great Kevin Peterson, who was a part of the team that achieved a series victory in India. But a slight closer look spoke us that England lost the first 3 tosses but came top in couple of those games. Why ? What’s the key ?

As they had Alastair Cook at its fluent best, swag of KP, a powerful middle order, spin duo of Monty Paneser and Gram Swan and the pacers who don’t let the runs flowing easily. 4years later, with an almost end Cook, an unsettle middle order and spin of Moen Ali, Adil Rashid, Zafar and Dawson saw England hammered to the Indians by 4-0 after winning 4 of the tosses.

Is it a little example ? Let’s take a look at the Aussies. With no quality spinners and batsman who are uncomfortable playing the slower bowlers, Australia just came to play test match in India. But 2017 test series was far more attractive because of incredible stuffs from Steve Smith and quality of Nathan Lyon. So, leaving the toss can only eliminate challenges from the overseas countries.

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The Final Line :

There are also examples of team’s recent drop in test Cricket because of their hi-fi in white ball format.  “Test Cricket is the ultimate.”  Said by former West Indian great Michael Holding during a interview with Gaurav Kapoor. The format is the test of your skills, your patience and determination. Rather than hitting the bowlers, they need to push them for an hour or two, they may need to take some body blows and for bowlers, they struggle to maintain their consistency of bowling in the same channel.

So, in my concern, Eliminating toss from test Cricket isn’t going to be the best solution for teams home advantage. All overseas side’s need to have good resources in their batting and bowling department. India have almost done that. So, don’t leave the toss but bring back the quality skill of test Cricket.

That remains my personal opinion. You guys may have a different thought process. Let’s inform us in the comment box. We will write a blog on those opinions in the future article.

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