Fact Check: Is Virat Kohli The Unluckiest Captain When It Comes To Winning The Toss?

Virat Kohli the unluckiest
Virat Kohli the unluckiest

India defeated England in the third ODI to win the series 2-1 and complete a series sweep over England. The fact that didn’t go missing from an average cricket viewer’s eye was that how often Virat Kohli the Unluckiest lost the toss. Indian captain Virat Kohli failed to win the toss in all the 3 ODI’s and India was asked to bat first in all the 3 games. In fact, on this whole tour, Kohli won just 2 tosses in 12 games. His record in the last 12 ODIs is also miserable, where he has won the toss only twice. It is widely accepted knowledge that the outcome of the toss is a 50-50 probability but even then Kohli’s case of losing the toss is curious.

Toss record in International games:

Virat Kohli became the third Indian captain to lead India in 200 international matches yesterday. MS Dhoni (332) and Mohammad Azharuddin (221) are the other two captains who conquered this landmark. However, among these 200 games, Kohli has won the toss in only 85 games and lost the toss on 115 occasions. His toss win/loss ratio of 0.739 is the worst among Indian captains who have led India in at least 100 games.

Toss record across formats:

Among the three formats, Kohli has the best toss win/loss ratio (0.82) in Tests comparatively. In T20Is, Virat has won only 18 tosses in 45 matches. His T20I toss win/loss ratio is a mere 0.4. He has the worst ratio in the shortest format among other Indian captains including MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma.

Comparison with contemporary captains:

Among the current international captains who have led their side for at least 20 matches, Virat Kohli has the lowest win/loss toss ratio. Kieron Pollard has the best toss win/loss ratio (1.13) among the current leaders. English captain Eoin Morgan also possesses a healthy ratio of 1.02.

Is Kohli the unluckiest captain ever?

There have been 44 players who have captained their side for 100 games in international cricket. Virat Kohli is at the bottom of the pile in terms of the win/loss ratio. Former West Indies captain Richie Richardson (0.741) is just a few decimal points behind Virat (0.739) in this regard.

The impact of toss in high-profile games:

Virat Kohli was made full-time ODI and T20I captain before the Champions Trophy 2017. In the summit clash against Pakistan, he won the toss and elected to field first. His decision backfired stunningly as India collapsed for 158 runs in a 339-run chase. Later in World Cup Semifinal (2019) against New Zealand, India lost the toss and were asked to field first. The Kiwi team won this game by 18 runs and knocked India out of the marquee tournament.


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