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Stats Analysis

The curse of winning the toss in IPL 2020

Whether they've chosen to bowl or bat, this has been the worst IPL season for teams winning the toss

Bharath Seervi
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli fist-bump at the toss  •  BCCI

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli fist-bump at the toss  •  BCCI

Winning the toss has not brought good fortune to the teams in IPL 2020. After 40 matches, toss-winning teams have won just 13 games and lost 27. The toss-winning team has also lost each of the four tied matches that went into the Super Over.
Of the ten most recent matches this season (Matches 31-40), the toss-winning team lost nine in a row before the streak came to an end with Sunrisers Hyderabad winning both the toss and their match against the Rajasthan Royals on Thursday. At the start of the season, teams winning the toss lost 12 of the first 15 matches. However, in the middle-phase, teams won nine out of 15 games after calling correctly.
In the first 20 matches of the season, teams chose to field first 14 times, and won only twice while doing so. In the second half of the tournament, teams began to bat first more often, but kept losing more often than they won. Teams winning the toss in the 20 most recent games of the tournament chose to bat first 17 times, and went on to win only seven times when they did so.
From all this, it appears as if captains would be happier losing the toss.
Compared to previous IPL seasons, the win-loss ratio of teams winning the toss this year is easily the lowest. The previous lowest win-loss ratio was in 2012, when teams won 33 and lost 41 matches after winning the toss - a ratio of 0.804. In the four most recent IPL seasons before this one (2016 to 2019), teams winning the toss won more often than lost. In fact, in the 2019 season, the win-loss ratio of teams winning the toss was 1.565, the highest of all seasons.
This year, all eight teams have been unlucky after winning the toss. Seven of the eight teams have lost more matches than won after winning the toss. Mumbai Indians have won two and lost two while winning the toss. Kings XI Punjab have lost all their three matches after winning the toss.
Numbers updated until Match 40

Bharath Seervi is stats sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo @SeerviBharath