South African captain, Faf du Plessis has become the latest figure to call into question the coin toss in Test Cricket.
Should it be scrapped away with?
Faf is in favour of the toss being scrapped, telling ESPN Cricinfo, “I’m a big fan of taking away the toss,” and goes on to say that over the past two or three years, games are finishing a lot sooner than they were when he started playing.
The very obvious reason as to why games are finishing earlier these days, is not because of the toss, it’s because of the ever increasing scheduling of T20 Cricket. Batsmen are so T20-erised that they don’t remember how to construct an honest to goodness Test match innings.
Batsmen have this mind-set that you have to go at 4 runs an over in Test matches, that you can’t have a slow and “boring” session, and the reason I have boring in quotation marks is because those “boring” sessions are what make Test Cricket the beautiful game it is, having the mental strength and character to deal with long hard sessions.
The way Dean Elgar and Amla batted against Australia earlier this year, for which they received heavy criticism for, that is the type of Test match batting they needed against Sri Lanka last weekend, but because they received such heavy criticism, I fear they took this to mean they can’t play slow and patient Test match innings’, and they must be positive and proactive, T20 style.
The toss in most games is not the reason games are over in 3 or 4 days, that is because of the players’ inability to adapt to the situation and play better cricket.
Say for instance, there was no toss in the 1st Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa, and Faf had elected to bat first. Do you think the outcome of the Test would have been any different? That result came down to South Africa’s inability to come to terms with the spin and play a more conservative brand of cricket.
The ICC decided already that the toss will remain, so captains need to deal with this and focus on making their own games better, which will then ensure games last longer.