'Winning toss gives an edge'

Spin of the coin decides match at most times in slow pitches: Dhoni


Mahendra Singh Dhoni

The International Cricket Council’s General Manager (Cricket), Dave Richardson, has already hinted at trialling Tendulkar’s idea in South Africa. The move is not directed at just revitalising the 50-over game, but also to ensure that the team winning the toss didn’t gain an unfair advantage, as has been the case in this tri-series.

Admitting that losing the toss straightaway put one on the back foot, Dhoni said:
“The toss is not in your control but once you win it, you have 60 percent of the game in your favour. If you score around 270, then you are 80 percent sure of winning the game. One of the big batsmen like (Sanath) Jayasuriya, (Tillakaratne) Dilshan or even Yuvraj (Singh) on their day can take the game away.”

Dhoni detailed the disadvantages of losing the toss. “Because of the toss when you bowl second, the team strength increases two-fold. Someone like Malinga is tough to pick due to his action, especially when the ball turns a bit brown,” Dhoni pointed out.

Bowling first, Dhoni felt, was tough on his bowlers. “It is very hot and humid. In both our games, we had to field first. The fast bowlers had to put in same effort but the wicket was a bit different,” he noted.

Though two innings of 25 overs per side could reduce the influence of the toss in favourable conditions, the ICC should also ensure that the format doesn’t slip into a predictable mode. Richardson’s take on this is worth pondering over. “I don't necessarily like the idea of playing two matches of 25 overs each with the openers batting again.
The charm of one-day cricket is seeing someone batting at four and scoring a good hundred. If you bat in the middle order of a Twenty20 or a new 25-over innings, you're not going to get much of an opportunity to hit three figures, one downside of the Twenty20 game,” he had said recently.

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