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We have to ensure T20 format does not become a matter of winning the toss, reckons Ian Chappell

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Australia won their maiden T20 World Cup title by handing an eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand

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We have to ensure T20 format does not become a matter of winning the toss, reckons Ian Chappell

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SportsCafe Desk

11/21/2021

Former Australia cricketer, Ian Chappell has stated that the toss played a major role in deciding the winner in the recently concluded T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE and Oman. He further added that the officials should adopt new methods in T20 cricket where toss does not give an advantage to the teams.

Australia recently clinched their maiden T20 World Cup title after thrashing New Zealand by eight wickets in the summit clash in Dubai. The Aaron Finch-led side won the match by chasing 173 runs thanks to brisk fifties from David Warner (53) and Mitchell Marsh (77). Josh Hazlewood starred for Australia with the ball, as he scalped three wickets.

The tournament was jointly hosted by Oman and UAE and the dew factor played a crucial role in the match result in the night matches. 29 out of 45 matches in the tournament were won by teams batting second. Despite having talented players in the squad, winning the toss was an important factor for the captains at the ICC showpiece event. Teams batting second won matches without much trouble from the bowlers, and claimed resounding victories. The team bowling first won 12 out of 13 times in Dubai - where the summit clash was played. 

Meanwhile, former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell has opined that the ICC tournaments have to adopt new ways to avoid the unfair toss advantage.

"There needs to be a wide-reaching survey into the changes required to improve the T20 format. To make it even more popular than it is, tournaments have to include a way to ensure the game doesn't become a matter of winning the toss. There seem to be two widely diverging views on T20 cricket," Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.

"There is the long-term cricket fan's fear that the game will become an all-power event that favours muscle-bound six-hitting batters in matches of the sort that are too often won by the chasing team. Then there is the opinion of the not-so-discerning fan, who is unworried by the seeming lack of contest between bat and ball and can't get enough of the mammoth six-hitting,” he added.

The T20 World Cup 2021 champions marched to the semi-finals with four victories as the Super 12 stage, and their lone defeat came against England. The Aaron Finch-led side registered a thumping victory against Pakistan, who were unbeaten in the group stage matches. David Warner scored 289 runs in seven matches and was adjudged Player of the Tournament. Adam Zampa picked 13 wickets from seven fixtures and became the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament.

Reflecting on Australia's performance at the marquee event, Chappell reckoned that Aaron Finch-led side had a balanced squad to lift the title. He also added that the team won the toss in crucial matches which handed them the advantage. 

"Australia finally won the major trophy that has eluded their grasp for more than a decade - the ICC Men's T20 World Cup. They clinched the trophy by clouting deliveries to and over the boundary, while producing a mixture of bowling that combined just enough wicket-taking with the right amount of containment.

"They also had the good fortune to win the toss when it really mattered, in a tournament where the major matches too often became a "win the coin flip, win the game" event. That was one of the major flaws in a tournament that achieved quite a lot of success," he added.

Chappell is of the opinion that there should be a balance between sports and entertainment. He also added that the mixture of better bats and smaller boundaries is reducing the bowlers into virtual bowling machines. 

"Then there is the balance between sport and entertainment. In my opinion the balance in T20 cricket needs to be somewhere in the vicinity of 60:40 sport to entertainment. At the moment it's unbalanced and too much in favour of pure entertainment. The administrators need to find both the ideal balance between bat and ball and educate fans on cricket's values," he remarked.

"It is fine when middled deliveries finish up in the stands but a bowler should be extremely angry if a blatant mis-hit still clears the ropes. This problem is not so pronounced on larger Australian grounds, but I'm not sure what genius produced the ludicrous mixture of better bats and smaller boundaries. This combination is reducing bowlers to virtual bowling machines. It is a serious slight on good bowlers and needs to be rectified immediately,” Chappell added.

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