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In numbers: Virat Kohli and his strange luck with the coin toss | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: The one thing in a cricket match which a player or team cannot be faulted for is the coin toss. It’s pure and simple luck. Whether the coin lands to show heads or tails is something that cannot be controlled or predicted by anyone. It is also not indicative of any shortcoming whatsoever.
Some captains have great luck with the coin toss, others win some, lose some, while some others have really bad luck with the toss. Sometimes, depending on the weather and pitch conditions, the result of the toss can have a big impact on the game – like we saw in the first two matches that India played in the ongoing T20 World Cup against Pakistan and New Zealand. With the dew coming down heavily in the evening, losing the toss and bowling second became very tough. In other cases, the team losing the toss and overcome the initial hiccup with some quality cricket
It would be fair to say that though Indian captain Virat Kohli has enjoyed a lot of success as skipper across all formats in terms of match results, he hasn’t had the best of luck really with the coin toss through his captaincy tenure. Kohli, who turned 33 today, holds a plethora of records when it comes to batting and has led the team to some memorable wins across formats, he is India’s most successful Test captain, but his luck with the toss hasn’t been the best.
Here’s a closer look at Virat’s luck with the toss across formats and in ICC tournaments:
In Test match cricket, Virat has walked out for the toss a total of 65 times. He has won the toss 28 times and lost 37 times. His overall match win percentage in Test cricket though is a very impressive 58.46%
In ODIs, Kohli has captained India in 95 matches and called it right at the toss on 40 occasions. He has lost the toss in ODIs 55 times. His match win % in ODIs is a very high 68.42%.
Virat’s luck in tosses in fact has been the worst in the shortest format of the game. In T20Is he has called it right at the toss 18 times and lost the toss on 30 occasions. In this format also though, Virat has won more matches than he has lost as captain. His win percentage in T20Is is 58.33%.

But his poor luck at coin tosses is a common theme across tournaments. If we talk about the big ICC tournaments, Virat’s luck hasn’t been the best here either. In the ODI World Cup, out of the 9 matches he has walked out for the toss in, he has won 4 and lost 5.
The ICC Champions Trophy in fact is the only ICC tournament in which Virat has so far won more tosses than he has lost, but that too by the batest of margins. In the 5 matches he has captained India in in this tournament, he has won 3 and lost 2 tosses.
The ongoing edition of the ICC T20 World Cup is the first edition of the tournament in which India is being captained by Virat. From the 2007 to the 2016 editions, MS Dhoni was the India captain. And so far in the three matches India have played, Virat has lost the toss all three times.
In the first edition of the World Test Championship, in which India lost to New Zealand in the final, Virats luck with the toss was possibly at its worst. He won 6 tosses and lost as many as 13 in the Tests played as part of the inaugural edition of the WTC.
Here’s a quick look at how three other India captains, who captained the team for long periods, fared at the coin toss over the years:
MS Dhoni
One of India’s most successful captains ever, MS Dhoni added many feathers to his cap during his illustrious career, including a 50-over World Cup trophy, a T20-World Cup trophy, an ICC Champions Trophy and taking India to the numero uno spot in the Test rankings. In a magnificent career in which he served as captain for a decade, Dhoni had some terrific numbers as skipper. And to an extent luck also did favour ‘Captain Cool’ when it came to calling it right at the toss.
In the longest format, Dhoni captained Team India in 60 matches out of which he won 27 games. Out of the 60 tosses he was a part of, Dhoni won 26 times.
In the ODI format, Dhoni still is India’s longest serving captain — 200 matches where he won 110 matches at a win percentage of 59.52. Out of the 200 tosses he was a part of in ODIs, he called it right on 97 occasions and had an opportunity to decide whether to bat or bowl first.
In the T20I format meanwhile, Dhoni was at the helm of affairs in 72 matches. He led India to a record 41 wins in those games. In the 72 T20Is, lady luck was on his side on 35 occasions on which he won the toss.
Overall in the 332 matches that Dhoni led the side across formats, the coin fell the way he wanted it to 158 times.

Sourav Ganguly
One of the greatest to have ever played the game, Sourav Ganguly was a remarkable leader, who played a big role, along with others, in laying the foundation on which Indian cricket stands today. A true leader, who made it a habit for India to win away from the sub-continent and gave his teammates the belief to be fearless, Ganguly was a hero during his reign as a captain.
In the 49 Tests that Ganguly represented the country as skipper in, Team India won 21 games. That’s a win percentage of 42.85. And as far as the toss record for Ganguly goes in the longest format, the coin landed in Dada’s favour on 21 occasions.
In the 146 ODIs that Ganguly was captain in, the team won 76 matches with a win percentage of close to 54. Ganguly called it right at the toss in ODIs 74 times in 146 matches.
Overall, in the 195 Tests and ODIs that Ganguly represented India, the coin landed in his favour on 95 occasions.
Mohammad Azharuddin
A cricketing warrior whose career was marred by the match-fixing scandal in the 90s. But Mohammad Azharuddin was an icon in Indian cricket, who led India to some memorable wins in Tests and ODIs.
In the 99 Tests that Azhar played for India, he led the team on 47 occasions. Although with just 14 wins, Azhar’s win percentage was 29.78, he managed to win the toss on 29 of those 47 occasions.
Azhar is still second on the list of Indian captains who have led the ODI team the most number of times (174), behind only MS Dhoni (200). In those 174 games, Azhar led the team to 90 wins in the 50-over format, which made his win percentage 54.16. And out of the 174 matches as ODI captain, Azhar called it right at the toss on 96 occasions.
Summing up Azhar’s performance at the toss, there were 125 instances out of 273 total matches when the former India skipper was on the right side of the coin toss.

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