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Shane Warne and Steve Waugh have different opinions on ‘abolishing coin toss’

They also touched upon the point where the home teams roll out pitches favouring their game.

Steve Waugh and Shane Warne
Steve Waugh and Shane Warne. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images for Laureus)

Former Australian cricketer turned commentator Shane Warne believes that the International Cricket Council (ICC) should abolish the ‘coin toss’ and suggested an alternative instead to make the decision. The coin toss has been part of Test cricket since its very first match played between England and Australia in 1877.

Of late, its relevance has been questioned and criticised as it gives undue advantage to the home team and it has been noticed that the side winning the toss ends up winning the match. Warne opines that the toss plays a crucial role in deciding the results of the Test match, if the host team wins the toss it would be advantageous for them as they prepare the pitch according to their team’s strength.

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Visiting team decides

“The visiting team, in this instance it would be India, they choose what they want to do in every Test match. The same goes on in India, so if India wants to prepare huge turning wickets, Australia says ‘we bat first’. If Australia wants to produce green seaming wickets, they (India) decide we’re going to bowl first. Get rid of the toss, the away team chooses what they want to do,” Warne was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.

However, former Aussies captain Steve Waugh is against abolishing the 141-year-old tradition of the coin toss and feels toss is not always making an impact on the results of the game as people think. He says if the pitch favours the home team then there is ICC match referee would be present and they would rate the pitch accordingly.

There has been an ongoing debate on the topic of the pitch as well. While most have favoured sporting and result oriented pitches there is a whole lot who prefer to term those wickets dubious, dangerous and what not. Very recently the pitches used for the Perth and MCG Test matches received an “average rating” from the match referee which just clears it from being rated poor.

As far as the toss is concerned, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had in the county season introduced the concept where the visiting captain got to make the call on whether they wanted to bat or bowl first. A few more seasons and tournaments around will give us substantial data on how well it has worked out for implementation at the highest level.

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