NEW DELHI :
Pitch, opposition’s strength, team’s strength, many variables are taken into account before deciding what should a team do after winning the toss in a cricket match.
One of those variables is dew, which usually affects the second half of the day-night limited over matches and proposes a challenge to captains as to what to do if they win the toss in a limited overs match.
In Indian Premier League (IPL), number of captains chose what to do after winning the toss keeping the dew factor in mind.
One of those captains was MS Dhoni and his franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) which won the toss six out seven times at home at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium and chose to bowl first on five of those occasions.
Courtesy finishing top of the IPL table, CSK had the home advantage against second placed Mumbai Indians in the qualifier on Tuesday.
MS Dhoni had to make the decision once again, should the coin land in his favour.
However, before Dhoni had the chance to take that call in Chennai’s qualifier against Mumbai, the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) put their students in former India captain’s shoes.
IIT-M professor professor Vignesh Muthuvijayan, in an end semester exam of Materials and Energy Balances, asked students the following question.
"Dew can play a major role in day-night matches. Excessive dew in the outfield makes the ball wet. For spinners, the challenge is to grip the wet ball and get it to impart spin. For fast bowlers, it is difficult to hit the desired length. Hence, this can put the fielding team at a disadvantage. During IPL 2019, Chennai Super Kings are likely to play a qualifier at Chepauk Stadium on May 7. As per the weather forecast on May 7, the relative humidity in Chennai is expected to be 70 per cent. The temperature at the start of the game is expected to be 39 degrees. At the beginning of the second innings, the temperature is expected to drop to 27 degrees. Based on this info, if Dhoni wins the toss would you recommend batting or fielding first. Justify your answer."
The question asked by the IIT professor was shared on social media and it went viral. Even the International Cricket Council (ICC) shared a screenshot of the question paper.
Having won the toss on Tuesday, Chennai Super Kings opted to bat against Mumbai. The home side however could only muster 131/4 in their allotted 20 overs and that wasn’t enough as Mumbai chased down the target with 9 balls to spare.
Chennai will now have another opportunity to book their spot in the IPL final when they take on the winner of the match between Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in Visakhapatnam on Friday.