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Unfavouring coin: How unlucky Virat Kohli is in terms of tosses?

Virat Kohli is indeed one of the finest batters to have ever stepped onto the cricket field and his record across formats is nothing but sensational. Be it tackling the swinging deliveries in Edgbaston or countering the bounce in Adelaide, Kohli rose up to every challenge which came his way and registered several scintillating wins. However, one aspect of the game which is beyond Kohli’s control is the toss.

The Indian skipper faces disappointment more often than not whenever he goes to flip the coin. As per mathematics, the probability of the coin landing on a team captain’s favour is ½. However, the figure seems to differ as far as Kohli is concerned. The talismanic captain has led India in seven Test matches this year and lost the toss in six of them. The second Test match against England at Lord’s is the last event where Kohli failed to win the toss. Now, the biggest arises how unlucky is Virat Kohli in terms of tosses.

Record in different formats:

As far as Kohli’s toss record across all formats is concerned, he has lost the toss more often than not. Interestingly, the coin has favoured the Indian skipper most in the longest format. He has a toss win/loss ratio of 0.75 in Test matches. Kohli has won the toss in 27 of the 63 Test matches he led India in. While the ratio is 0.73 in ODIs, it’s the worst in T20Is – 0.67. Overall, Kohli has led India in 203 matches so far, winning the toss in just 85 games.

Format Matches Toss Won Toss Lost W/L %
Test 63 27 36 0.75
ODI 95 40 55 0.72
T20I 45 18 27 0.66

Comparison with other Indian captains

Speaking of how Kohli’s predecessors fared in the toss sessions, only Mohammad Azharuddin and Kapil Dev have the win/loss ratio of 1 or more than 1. Interestingly, Kohli’s win/loss ratio is again worst among the Indian captains leading the national team in at least 100 games. MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly also boast of a win/loss percentage in excess of 0.90.

Names Matches Won Toss Lost Toss W/L %
MS Dhoni 332 158 174 0.91
Mohammad Azharuddin 221 125 96 1.3
Virat Kohli 203 85 118 0.72
Sourav Ganguly 195 95 100 0.95
Kapil Dev 108 54 54 1
Rahul Dravid 104 61 43 1.41

Is Virat Kohli the unluckiest captain ever?

As many as 44 players have captained in 100 or most international games. Among those, Virat Kohli is again at the bottom spot in terms of win/loss ratio. In this regard, former West Indies captain Richie Richardson is just some decimal points behind Virat.

Names Matches Won Toss Lost Toss W/L %
Virat Kohli 203 85 118 0.72
Richie Richardson 155 66 89 0.74
Michael Clarke 139 62 77 0.8
Brian Lara 172 72 95 0.811
Sarfaraz Ahmed 100 45 55 0.818

Result in big matches:

For the unversed, Virat Kohli was named India’s full-time captain in January 2017. In the 2017 Champions Trophy final clash against Pakistan, he won the toss but his decision to field first backfired as India collapsed for 158 runs in a 339-run chase. The Men in Blue subsequently lost the game.

Later in World Cup Semifinal 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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