Josh Pinn on Twitter asked last night:
I’ve noticed teams winning the toss and bowling in BBL. Is that a regular tactic?
— Josh Pinngle Bells (@JoshCPinn) December 23, 2016
This is a good question, and one that is easy to answer with my dataset. In this post I’ll look at how the fashion in men’s T20 cricket has shifted towards teams preferring to bowl first, and also whether there is evidence that this works.
Firstly, let’s take a look at how often teams choose to bowl when they win the toss in the Big Bash League.
It’s a dramatic shift. Up until 2011/12, it was rare for teams to choose to bowl. Around 20% took the option in 2007/8 and 2008/9, but in 2009/10 a team chose to bowl first in only one out of 16 matches. We came closer to parity in 2012/13, but only a quarter chose to do so in 2013/14. In 2014/15 the team who won the toss chose to bowl in exactly half of the matches. Last season a small majority of matches saw teams choosing to bowl.
In the first five matches of this season, every team has chosen to bowl. Continue reading “Arguing the toss”