Does it pay to win the toss?

Something that has always bugged me about cricket is that the coin toss seems to have a huge impact. That’s the framing, anyway. The entire first morning of a test match is usually taken with what the winner should do – bat or bowl first.

Innumerable factors play into this decision, including weather, recent games, psychology and schedule. It sometimes seems more art than science.

But does it matter? Between 2000 and 2018 the toss winner won about 40% of games and the loser about 35%, according to noted cricket statistician Ric Finlay. Considering the sheer number of games, this seems pretty significant. I decided to scrape Cricinfo’s stat page to see if there’s anything else to tease out.

Firstly, as you’d expect from a coin toss, the results of a coin toss are about 50/50. Here’s Australia’s record at home:

 

tosses

But let’s go a bit deeper and break it down by country. The results of test matches played in Australia roughly line up with what Finlay says. But, perhaps counter-intuitively, it seems winning the toss is slightly more advantageous in the shorter formats. I would have thought the opposite, as pitches deteriorate and there’s more time for poor weather etc. in a test match.

oztosswon

Some of this is probably noise. There have been significantly fewer T20s than test matches played, for instance. Maybe more to unpack in the ODI’s.

Funnily enough, India is pretty dire for my theory. It’s even worse for test matches in India and even better for T20 matches. But, again, relatively few T20 matches. Also significantly fewer test matches played in India than in Australia, so that’s one to watch.

indiatosswon

Let’s look at England. This one is a little closer to what we saw in Australia, which makes me think the quantity of matches played is important. It also makes me question the connection between the toss and weather.

 

engtosswon

All of this is roughly around with Finlay says, which makes me think there’s something to winning the toss. And the advantage for one dayers is pretty consistent across these countries. I’m not prepared to call it yet. But there could be a marginal effect here. Gonna keep exploring.

Lanka Briefly for 04/04/2020

Morning all,

Here’s today’s headlines:

News

  • Authorities discuss to lockdown Colombo? (Daily Mirror)
  • CP Leader says law deliberately delayed to save fraudsters (The Island)
  • People of all religions could face difficulties due to COVID-19: PM (Daily Mirror)
  • ACJU pledges fullest support for fight against COVID-19 (The Island)
  • Private Hospitals support and collaborate with Government in battle against COVID-19 (The Island)
  • Well-being and safety of Sri Lankans overseas during COVID-19 pandemicForeign Ministry holds consultations with SL’s Heads of Missions (Daily Mirror)
  • Opinion

  • Gotabaya Proposes, Coronavirus Disposes (Colombo Telegraph)
  • COVID-19: Protect the protectors (Daily Mirror)
  • International Community Should  Enforce Universal Jurisdiction Clause Against Sri Lankan Officials (Colombo Telegraph)
  • Dilith Jayaweera Shame On You (Colombo Telegraph)
  • Capitalism has failed; world needs a new order (Daily Mirror)
  • Priority in Sri Lanka to contain further spread – UN (Daily Mirror)
  • Business

  • Socio-economic impacts of food safety reform in Sri Lanka (The Island)
  • DIMO delivers first all-new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Single Cab (The Island)
  • Wiley shares growth trajectory insights in Sri Lanka for 2020/21 (The Island)
  • NCE launches second edition of Coffee Table Book at AGM (Daily FT)
  • IMF Chief says 20 countries seek aid, calls for coordinated spending (Daily FT)
  • World needs coordinated fiscal response to pandemic: IMF Chief (Daily FT)
  • World

  • Coronavirus has seized control of New York and the city may never be the same (ABC)
  • US accused of seizing face mask shipments bound for Europe Canada (Deutsche Welle)
  • Legendary soul singer-songwriter Bill Withers dies aged 81 (ABC)
  • Russia’s ‘corona-holidays’ leave small businesses in freefall (Deutsche Welle)
  • ‘You may as well have toilet paper over your face’: Why China’s COVID-19 supplies are being recalled (ABC)
  • The wave of solidarity in coronavirus-hit France (France 24)
  • Climate

  • Changes to drylands with future climate change (Science Daily)
  • Northern peatlands will lose some of their CO2 sink capacity under a warmer climate (Science Daily)
  • Iberdrola CEO promises sharp increase in renewable investments post-pandemic (IEEFA)
  • Investors pressuring Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group to stop financing coal projects (IEEFA)
  • Australia’s path to net-zero emissions lies in rapid, stimulus-friendly steps (The Guardian)
  • Coastal pollution reduces genetic diversity of corals, reef resilience (Science Daily)
  • Sport

  • Coronavirus: LPGA Tour on hold until majority can play (BBC Sport)
  • Anthony Joshua’s world title defence against Kubrat Pulev postponed (BBC Sport)
  • Coronavirus: England men’s and women’s teams make contributions (BBC Sport)
  • Premier League clubs to consult players on 30% wage cut as resumption delayed (BBC Sport)
  • Coronavirus: Premier League players discuss pay and support options (BBC Sport)
  • What are Premier League and English football’s options amid coronavirus? (BBC Sport)
  • Further reading

  • How Body Positivity Coexists with Fat Shaming (Jstor)
  • Why does it suddenly feel like 1999 on the internet? (MIT Tech Review)
  • Watch These Six Flower Bloom Events From Your Couch (Smithsonian)
  • How dancing helps me think, and thinking helps me dance (Aeon)
  • Agnes Callard on the agency of becoming (Aeon)
  • The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, a History of Hell and Other New Books to Read (Smithsonian)

  • You can sign up for this briefing via email here.

    Straya Briefly for 04/04/2020

    Morning all,

    Here’s today’s headlines:

    News

  • Key points from the Prime Minister’s press conference (ABC)
  • How you can shop safely during the coronavirus lockdown (New Daily)
  • Coronavirus has paused Parliament. This is what should be happening instead (New Daily)
  • Halls Creek Aboriginal Medical Service CEO outraged at disjointed response to COVID-19 (NIT)
  • Budget burden grows but PM sticks by franking credits (SMH)
  • Drive-Thru Flu Vaccination Clinics Open (Ten)
  • Opinion

  • Young people are anxious about coronavirus. Political leaders need to talk with them, not at them (The Conversation)
  • Lives in limbo (Inside Story)
  • Daily shockwaves obscure the magnitude of change — and how different the new normal will be (ABC)
  • Free childcare is too good to be true. But could this start a revolution? | Eva Cox (The Guardian)
  • The symbolism of the Olympic Games (Pursuit)
  • Welcome to Comrade Morrison’s glorious dawn of socialism! Don’t get too excited | First Dog on the Moon (The Guardian)
  • Business

  • Coronavirus Australia live news: chief medical officer says global cases could be 5 to 10 million – latest update (The Guardian)
  • Backpackers allowed to extend stays in Australia to help farmers during coronavirus pandemic (ABC)
  • Real estate industry under fire for ‘outrageous’ advice to pay rent with super (New Daily)
  • Australia’s major measures to tackle coronavirus are now in place, Scott Morrison says (The Guardian)
  • Look who’s talking: Australia’s telcos, banks and supermarkets granted exemption to cartel laws (The Conversation)
  • Australian real estate agents face fines and jail if tenants told to use super to pay rent (The Guardian)
  • World

  • Coronavirus Special Podcast #2 | Snail-Internet Connection (Deutsche Welle)
  • French hospitals record deadliest day with 588 coronavirus deaths (France 24)
  • ‘You may as well have toilet paper over your face’: Why China’s COVID-19 supplies are being recalled (ABC)
  • NY vows to send troops for ventilators as death toll nears 3,000 (Al Jazeera English)
  • UK: Can a new leader remove Labour’s anti-Semitism stain? (Deutsche Welle)
  • Big cats, murder and a ‘gay, gun-carrying redneck with a mullet’: Inside the world of Tiger King (ABC)
  • Climate

  • Changes to drylands with future climate change (Science Daily)
  • While we fixate on coronavirus, Earth is hurtling towards a catastrophe worse than the dinosaur extinction (The Conversation)
  • Coastal pollution reduces genetic diversity of corals, reef resilience (Science Daily)
  • Iberdrola CEO promises sharp increase in renewable investments post-pandemic (IEEFA)
  • Final Government approvals for core lithium to move on first lithium production in the NT (Renew Economy)
  • Northern peatlands will lose some of their CO2 sink capacity under a warmer climate (Science Daily)
  • Sport

  • My favourite game: Wales v England, Five Nations 1999 (The Guardian)
  • Anthony Joshua’s world title defence against Kubrat Pulev postponed (BBC Sport)
  • Fittler backs Origin to restart season – and Taumalolo for Queensland (SMH)
  • Pandemic halts Australian cricket’s wedding season (Cricinfo)
  • Last orders: Doors close on beloved sporting sanctuary for Australians in New York (SMH)
  • Overcoming current challenges in women’s sport will pave way for future nostalgia | Megan Maurice (The Guardian)
  • Further reading

  • Automatic doors: the simple technology that could help stop coronavirus spreading (The Conversation)
  • Agnes Callard on the agency of becoming (Aeon)
  • How Body Positivity Coexists with Fat Shaming (Jstor)
  • So Wait, How Encrypted Are Zoom Meetings Really? (Wired)
  • Why does it suddenly feel like 1999 on the internet? (MIT Tech Review)
  • How dancing helps me think, and thinking helps me dance (Aeon)

  • You can sign up for this briefing via email here.

    Lanka Briefly for 03/04/2020

    Morning all,

    Here’s today’s headlines:

    News

  • Over 20,000 containers stuck at port (Daily Mirror)
  • Muslims must adhere to govt. directives – Muzammil (The Island)
  • Dambulla: Shops closed to reduce congestion (The Island)
  • Plans in place to import medicinal drugs from India for six months (Daily Mirror)
  • CBSL planning coordinated move with banks to cushion blow from COVID-19 (The Island)
  • AVIGAN not approved for COVID-19 (Daily Mirror)
  • Opinion

  • Promote cultivation (The Island)
  • A Single Virus & A Humble Animal Sends The Whole World Into Lockdown (Colombo Telegraph)
  • Corona and neoliberalism (The Island)
  • From Virtual Slavery To Penury: The Plight Of The Plantation Workers Of Sri Lanka (Colombo Telegraph)
  • Corona pandemic: Lessons from war zone paradoxes (Daily Mirror)
  • Support home gardens (The Island)
  • Business

  • CMA conducts seminar on ‘Comprehensive and in-depth Analysis of Recent Tax Reforms with Practical Applications’ (Daily FT)
  • Premium brand Lankatiles becomes only Asian company to sell tiles on Amazon (Daily FT)
  • Royal Fernwood Porcelain now SLS 1222:2001 certified (Daily FT)
  • SriLankan Airlines suspends flights to Kuwait from March 6-12 (The Island)
  • ‘More than 170,000 employees across Sri Lanka benefit from gender equality initiative’ (The Island)
  • ‘There should be international solidarity and support for countries impacted by coronavirus’ (The Island)
  • World

  • Here’s who you should absolutely not support in the Belarus Premier League (ABC)
  • Pakistan court set to free four accused of murdering journalist (ABC)
  • A US tourist town telling visitors to stay away (BBC News)
  • For some survivors, coronavirus complications can last a ‘lifetime’ (France 24)
  • ‘It was this or separate’: UK couples shack up to avoid coronavirus lockdown (ABC)
  • Coronavirus surfaces in Greek migrant camp (Deutsche Welle)
  • Climate

  • Renewables provide 52% of Germany’s electricity in first quarter, a new record (IEEFA)
  • What climate change means for Northwestern US wildfires (Science Daily)
  • Smaller scale solutions needed for rapid progress towards emissions targets (Science Daily)
  • Oil price fallout spreads as shale producer Whiting Petroleum files for bankruptcy (IEEFA)
  • While we fixate on coronavirus, Earth is hurtling towards a catastrophe worse than the dinosaur extinction (The Conversation)
  • Arctic climate change – it’s recent carbon emissions we should fear, not ancient methane ‘time bombs’ (The Conversation)
  • Sport

  • Retroreport – Dhoni and Gambhir lead India to World Cup glory (Cricinfo)
  • Premier League: 30 April restart date to be pushed back (BBC Sport)
  • Coronavirus: Premier League players must take a pay cut – Matt Hancock (BBC Sport)
  • The sights, sounds and stars we will miss from tennis in 2020 (BBC Sport)
  • Eddie Jones: England head coach is the total package, says RFU’s Bill Sweeney (BBC Sport)
  • Coronavirus: How drivers, engineers and cycling kit makers are helping (BBC Sport)
  • Further reading

  • How COVID-19 Picks on the Weakened – Issue 84: Outbreak (Nautilus)
  • In Epidemics, the Wealthy Have Always Fled (Jstor)
  • Identifying Einstein (Aeon)
  • Parents are using business software to plan their kids’ coronavirus homeschooling (MIT Tech Review)
  • In Groundbreaking Find, Three Kinds of Early Humans Unearthed Living Together in South Africa (Smithsonian)
  • AI can’t predict how a child’s life will turn out even with a ton of data (MIT Tech Review)

  • You can sign up for this briefing via email here.

    Straya Briefly for 03/04/2020

    Morning all,

    Here’s today’s headlines:

    News

  • Can Australia force COVID-19-hit cruise ships to leave our waters? (ABC)
  • New NSW legislation increases family violence risk for isolating families (NIT)
  • Coronavirus update: Worldwide deaths pass 50,000 on Spain’s deadliest day (ABC)
  • ‘They sustain me’: PM reflects on family, admitting it’s hard to imagine world on other side of pandemic (ABC)
  • ‘No complaints’: Returned travellers on life in hotel quarantine (New Daily)
  • Halls Creek doctor tests positive for COVID-19 (NIT)
  • Opinion

  • Northern exposure (The Monthly)
  • Grattan on Friday: Imagine if we could extract a permanent vaccine against hyper-partisanship from COVID-19 (The Conversation)
  • I’m a doctor in a Melbourne emergency department. One fear keeps me up at night (ABC)
  • Three disasters, a wedding and a funeral (The Monthly)
  • Democracy 2025 – How does Australia compare: what makes a leading democracy? With Michelle Grattan, Mark Evans and Ian Chubb (The Conversation)
  • Cereal, circumcision and tax evasion: a history of John Harvey Kellogg (Overland)
  • Business

  • Australian housing market takes a huge hit with auctions set to plummet further this weekend (The Guardian)
  • Australia’s post-war recovery program provides clues as to how to get out of this (The Conversation)
  • JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon back at work four weeks after heart surgery (SMH)
  • Australian PM announces free childcare as Covid-19 death toll rises to 24 – as it happened (The Guardian)
  • ‘We’re in a bit of a tight spot’: Meet the workers who can’t get the wage subsidy (ABC)
  • Coronavirus energy bill relief on its way to Australian households (New Daily)
  • World

  • Opinion: Chances for EU despite the coronavirus pandemic (Deutsche Welle)
  • Is Iran using the coronavirus crisis to bolster its nuclear program? (Deutsche Welle)
  • The UK urges new couples to choose: move in, break up or don’t touch for months (ABC)
  • Coronavirus: In France, professionals look to extend legal abortion time limit (France 24)
  • For some survivors, coronavirus complications can last a ‘lifetime’ (France 24)
  • Democrats to delay naming 2020 nominee amid Covid-19 (BBC News)
  • Climate

  • Our oceans are suffering, but we can rebuild marine life (Science Daily)
  • Plane emissions halving ‘may even be an underestimation’ amid coronavirus pandemic (ABC)
  • Arctic climate change – it’s recent carbon emissions we should fear, not ancient methane ‘time bombs’ (The Conversation)
  • Oil price fallout spreads as shale producer Whiting Petroleum files for bankruptcy (IEEFA)
  • Why Covid-19 may complicate efforts to reduce airline emissions (Renew Economy)
  • Renewables provide 52% of Germany’s electricity in first quarter, a new record (IEEFA)
  • Sport

  • Quiz: how much do you know about the Six Nations? (The Guardian)
  • NRL players lose five months’ pay as part of new deal during coronavirus pandemic (ABC)
  • Coronavirus: Premier League players must take a pay cut – Matt Hancock (BBC Sport)
  • NRL Island: Queensland resort manager reveals plan to rescue coronavirus-hit season (The Guardian)
  • AFL boss confirms membership refunds after McGuire and Jones on-air clash (ABC)
  • The Breakdown | Vive la différence: French rugby tome still resonates 60 years on (The Guardian)
  • Further reading

  • Identifying Einstein (Aeon)
  • How COVID-19 Picks on the Weakened – Issue 84: Outbreak (Nautilus)
  • Leaders as healers: Ancient Greek ideas on the health of the body politic (The Conversation)
  • In Groundbreaking Find, Three Kinds of Early Humans Unearthed Living Together in South Africa (Smithsonian)
  • In Epidemics, the Wealthy Have Always Fled (Jstor)
  • AI can’t predict how a child’s life will turn out even with a ton of data (MIT Tech Review)

  • You can sign up for this briefing via email here.