Tosses hold special significance for cricket fans. Online betting companies know this, which is why almost all leading bookmakers offer odds on this event. In this article, we discuss everything about the cricket toss, and how it can be used to make winning bets.
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What is a Toss in Cricket?
With origins dating back to the 18th century, cricket has an illustrious history and is the most followed sport in India. It’s a religion in itself.
The first Laws of Cricket were written by the founders of the present-day Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in 1744. The MCC, popularly known as the Lord’s stadium, has continued to remain the custodian of these laws.
The cricket toss is a time-honoured tradition of this game marked by a coin flip in the air. The visiting captain predicts the coin toss result, and the winning captain gets to choose which of the teams will bat first.
When Does It Happen?
The coin toss is the first element of a cricket match and takes place half an hour before the game is scheduled to begin. Believe it or not, millions of true cricket followers consider the toss, not the first ball of the first over, as the commencement of play.
Can Anyone Predict the Cricket Toss?
Given its popularity, the first thing which comes to your mind as a bettor is ‘Who can predict the toss’?
There are only two possibilities in a coin toss: the heads side or the tails side appearing face up, with both events having 0.5 probability of occurrence. No apparent external factors determine the result apart from the event of tossing of the coin.
One might go to the extreme of saying that the captain flipping the coin may make some minute weight changes and use it to their advantage. We can confidently strike out this possibility, though, as the coin is given to the captain just before the toss.
Therefore, it's safe to say that the coin toss is something that relies on pure luck, and the true and only answer to who can predict the toss is that nobody can.
Not you, not the captains, not cricket experts, and of course, not match referees.
Who Conducts the Cricket Toss?
The toss is conducted on the cricket ground between the captains of the two teams, in the presence of the match referee and umpires.
How Does It Work?
The captains of both teams meet on the ground half an hour before the match. They check the pitch conditions and exchange the squad sheets with each other. Once these ceremonials are completed, the toss takes place.
The aim of the toss is to decide which team will bat first.
The toss coin has two sides, heads and tails (no surprises here), and whichever captain predicts the correct toss result gets the chance to decide whether they want to bat or bowl first.
Traditionally, the home captain flips the coin while the visiting captain selects the coin side. The visiting captain must call their preferred choice, i.e., heads or tails, while the coin is in the air.
The match referee declares the result of the coin toss according to the side selected by the visiting captain, and then asks the winner to immediately make their batting decision.
Sometimes, there can be an error during the coin flip or confusion while calling of heads or tails. In such cases, the toss is repeated.
A vivid instance of a match with a second coin toss is the 2011 World Cup Finals held between India and Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan captain claimed that he had called out ‘Heads’ and not tails, while the referee and the Indian captain both thought it was ‘Tails’.
Despite the ensuing controversy, both the Indian captain, M.S. Dhoni, and the match referee agreed to repeat the toss.
What Kind of Coin Is Used?
There are no special regulations here – the rule of thumb is to use the currency coin of the host country. The only stipulated guideline is that one side of the coin should clearly indicate heads and the other tails.
However, there are certain cricketing occasions when match organisers mint coins to specially celebrate the occasion, such as Sachin Tendulkar’s 200th Test match, where a gold coin with the master blaster’s face was used for the coin toss.
In the Indian Premier League (IPL), specially minted gold coins with the IPL logo and the match details are used for every match.
Is the Cricket Toss Important?
The order in which a team bats or bowls has a huge role in determining the outcome of the match. A toss win is the first step of turning the match in one’s favour. At the outset, it is important to acknowledge that the toss win is extremely important, but it alone does not guarantee a win.
It is how the captains capitalise on the toss win, plan the game, and use the playing conditions in their team’s favour that charts the road to victory.
Below are a few open advantages of winning the toss:
- Mindset plays a huge factor in cricket, and winning the toss gives the psychological advantage of being in control from the very beginning.
- In case of new pitches, it gives time to analyse the pitch by bowling first.
- For pitches acclaimed for being batsmen or bowler-friendly, captains can take advantage of such conditions.
- There are weather predictions before every match, and captains can take advantage of the weather to their advantage. For example, if rain is predicted later during the day, the captain can opt to bat second as the DLS method will be used when it rains. The method is historically known to favour teams chasing the score.
- According to data cited by ESPN, teams winning the toss have won 6% more matches than their opponents.
Can Toss Wins Influence Matches?
Every team prepares a strategy as to how they will play if they win the toss. A toss win basically gives the team an opportunity to start the match in the manner in which they want to. Whether their decision takes the right course or not depends on their planning and execution skills.
If captains analyse the pitch carefully and synchronise their lineup to take advantage of the pitch, then yes, toss wins can influence matches.
An ideal start helps in executing the game plan piece by piece, unless, of course, the winning captain makes the wrong choice after winning the toss.
Empirical and statistical data can be used to study how batting or bowling first can turn the tide in one’s favour on a particular pitch. Every pitch behaves differently during different stretches of the game, in different formats of the sport itself.
For instance, in a day-night ODI match in a coastal city, the toss-winning team generally opts to bowl first due to the dew factor, which poses a greater challenge for bowlers at night. However, the same dew factor would not play that significant a role in Test matches.
It is important for bettors like you to know that the toss advantage also varies across different formats of cricket.
Test matches represent the original format of cricket, where both teams slug it out for five consecutive days. Data suggests that teams winning the toss win matches 2.6% more often.
From a general betting perspective, you can presume that captains will choose to bat first in most cases – the reason being that the pitch deteriorates towards the end of the match, making the pitch a hunting ground for pacers and spinners alike.
One Day International Cricket (ODI)
ODIs are day and night matches starting in the afternoon and continuing late in the night, with 50 overs in each innings. Nowadays, even World Cup matches are held in this format.
The relevance of the toss win is higher in this format, with a 3.3% higher chance of victory by teams who win the toss.
The match is decided within a matter of few hours. There is very little room for strategy changes, and the option to bat or bowl has to be taken after carefully analysing the past trends on the pitch, the type of pitch, and the weather conditions.
For example, if there are weather predictions of drizzle or dew in the night, the toss-winning team might prefer to bat second to take advantage of the bowling disadvantage posed by such conditions – and, of course, the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.
The shortest format is surprisingly the least affected by toss wins. The T20 format is all about smashing runs. Traditional cricket rules and techniques do not influence this format much.
Teams do not mind losing wickets or leaking runs as long as they have the arsenal to knock boundaries. That said, most captains prefer to chase the score in this format.
Toss Prediction Strategy
The best betting strategies should incorporate the element of toss prediction in their models. The toss result cannot be predicted, but you can attempt to predict what the captain might choose if they win the toss. This, however, requires a lot of cricket knowledge and on-the-feet thinking.
Here are some methods how you can predict the toss:
Exchange of Squad Sheets
The captains exchange their squad sheets before the toss, which is the first time when the team lineup is declared. The team lineup reveals the intent and mindset with which the team is approaching the game.
Factors like the number of spinners, all-rounders, pacers, and who the opening batsmen are will be mentioned on the squad sheet. Experienced bettors use this knowledge to gauge the strategy of the team and, in turn, predict what the winning team might choose to do if the toss turns in its favour.
You can anticipate the toss behaviour of captains by looking at their previous decisions on the same pitch or against the same team, and place your bet accordingly.
There are also captains who will always opt to bat or bowl, no matter the pitch conditions or opponent’s lineup. You can accordingly make bets on their selection if they win the toss.
Cricket Coin Toss and Betting
Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world, especially in India, and it is only natural for bookmakers to draw odds for every exciting aspect of the game to attract bettors.
Are There Betting Markets for Cricket Toss Predictions?
“To Win the Toss” is one of the most popular cricket betting markets available, and is offered by every leading online bookmaker. In fact, the odds across all platforms are almost consistent and shift between 1.80-1.90. The odds are always the same for both the teams since it is an event that relies purely on luck with only two possible outcomes that can never be predicted.
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How Can You Use a Cricket Toss Prediction to Your Advantage?
The cricket toss result can be used to place bets for the rest of the cricket match. Depending on what your team opts for or has chosen to do first, you can place or modify the bets and betting amounts.
It is always recommended that you arm yourself with past match statistics and trends before placing bets. Knowing how the team performs when the team bats or bowls first can make all the difference in your bet income.
Wise bettors do not shy away from altering their bets or cashing out if they know that the toss outcome hints at losses later in the match. Fortunately, all of the best cricket betting sites offer the cash out option.
So, if you think you have placed a bet that is bound to lose after the toss result has taken place, you can immediately cash that bet out and use that money for a better bet on cricket online.
Captains With the Highest Winning Coin Toss Percentage in IPL History
There’s good news for IPL fans!
The IPL 2021, which was postponed earlier in the month, is tentatively scheduled to resume in September in the UAE.
Bettors can hope to watch some world-class cricket and once again look forward to the IPL betting they initially missed out on. To help you ace the toss prediction market, below is a list of the top 5 present IPL captains with the highest toss win percentage throughout all the IPL seasons.
|Captain||Team||Toss Win %||Match Win %||Shreyas Iyer (injured)||Delhi Capitals||58.53% (24/41)||51.22%|
|M.S. Dhoni||Chennai Super Kings||52.49% (95/181)||60.77%|
|Rohit Sharma||Mumbai Indians||48.78% (60/123)||58.54%|
|Suresh Raina||Gujarat Lions||48.28% (14/29)||44.83%|
|Virat Kohli||Royal Challengers Bangalore||47.73% (63/132)||45.45%|
Coin Toss Betting FAQs
How significant has the toss been in World Cups?
The toss is an undoubtedly important part of the game, but as we said, it is not the sole winning factor in a cricket match. Only 46% of the teams that won the toss went on to win the matches played in the World Cup.
Are cricket matches live streamed on betting websites?
Of course! Almost all the leading bookmakers live stream cricket matches on their websites, and provide this service on their mobile apps as well. They stream not just top cricket tournaments, but all the cricket matches that are broadcast on TV networks too.
Bettors can also place live bets while watching the match online, further enriching your overall experience.
Which are some of the best betting sites for live cricket bets?
There are numerous bookmakers offering quality odds for cricket matches. However, if we scrutinise websites in terms of security, convenience, and features, then bet365, Unibet, and 1xBet are three of the very best cricket betting sites around.
Most leading websites also have blogs and articles which provide some of the best betting tips and match prediction insights.
Can a bookmaker provide different odds for different teams in a toss prediction market?
Toss prediction is a pure-luck event with equal odds for both teams. No legitimate bookmaker can predict the odds and offer different odds for the toss prediction market. If you encounter such odds, there is either a technical glitch or a fraudulent intention from the bookmaker’s end.
In either case, we recommend you not to use the services of such bookmakers.
Is the International Cricket Council (ICC) going to scrap the toss?
There have been some sections in the cricketing fraternity who hold that tosses should be scrapped, as they promote inequality in the game. However, the ICC has not taken any step to scrap the toss, and all prominent cricketing bodies are still following the tradition.
CricketBettingAdvice Final Say
Cricket toss prediction markets are an exciting way to start your cricket betting journey. You can use the results of cricket tosses to further shape your betting strategy for the game and win some profitable bets.
We recommend that you learn the basics of the game before jumping into cricket betting for the first time. And as always, always be sure to look for value in your bets!
The Cricket Betting Advice team of writers are all defined by one goal: to provide you with the best online cricket betting content on the web.