T20 World Cup 2021: Talking points - toss, spinners and quality of cricket

After the final, Australia captain Aaron Finch was asked how he managed to win six out of seven tosses. The only time he did not win, England demolished Australia.

Australia skipper Aaron Finch speaks to the broadcaster at the toss, while Kane Williamson inspects the pitch.   -  AP

The seventh edition of the ICC T20 World Cup that started October 17 culminated with Australia as the new champion.

Toss is boss

The impact of the toss on the outcome of a match was evident. After the final, Australia captain Aaron Finch was asked how he managed to win six out of seven tosses. The only time he did not win, England demolished Australia.

Two-third of the 45 games ended up in favour of the team that won the toss. The trend was more evident while playing in Dubai. Of the 13 games at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, including the final, only two were won by those who were not lucky with the spin of the coin.

One should not undermine the fact that eventually, it all boiled down to the quality and consistency of teams. Otherwise, Afghanistan would have been in the knockouts, having won all five tosses in Super 12s. And New Zealand would have been sent packing after losing three tosses in the league stage.

"Toss did play a big factor, to be honest. I tried to play it down as much as I could because I thought at some point in the tournament I am going to lose a toss and we’ll have to bat first. But it did play a big part. I don't know how I did it. Maybe it was just fate," said Finch.

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Mystery is history

They were supposed to be the show-stoppers in the World Cup but the tournament has shown that batters have ensured mystery spinners’ magic is on the wane, at least when it comes to picking wickets consistently. A look at their basic numbers reveals the story.

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Rashid Khan (8 wickets in 5 matches), Tabraiz Shamsi (8 in 5), M. Theekshana (8 in 7), Varun Chakravarthy (0 in 3) couldn’t really run through the sides. The only exception was Mujeeb Ur Rahman of Afghanistan but five of his seven wickets in three games were against Scotland.

On the other hand, conventional spinners like Adam Zampa (13 in 7), Shadab Khan (9 in 6), Ish Sodhi (9 in 7) and R. Ashwin (6 in 3) were successful.

Lessons from leagues

IPL is the most sought-after franchise-based T20 league. Big Bash League, Pakistan Super League, and the Caribbean Premier League fight for the second spot. The T20 World Cup underlined that the countries that host the biggest cricket leagues don’t necessarily benefit from it. New Zealand’s consistent run despite a low-profile domestic league, and India’s and West Indies’ torrid times in the tournament is a case in point.

Besides, the old or tired warriors may end up excelling in T20 leagues, but when it comes to the World Cup, they cannot lead their respective teams to success.

Team winning toss and impact on results

Dubai: 11 wins, 2 losses

Abu Dhabi : 9 wins, 6 losses
Sharjah: 6 wins, 5 losses
Muscat:   4 wins, 2 losses
Overall:    30 wins, 15 losses

 

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