There is a widespread misconception about how and when dew forms in the Indian cricket circuit. Many experts contend that when the daytime temperature is high, dew development in the evening is more likely, especially when there is minimal breeze and a temperature differential of about 10 degrees between day and night.
In Ahmedabad, the location of the eagerly awaited World Cup match between India and Pakistan on Saturday (October 14), there has been a significant temperature difference between day and night over the past several days. When his squad practiced at night at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday, Babar Azam said the temperature difference was 35:24 degrees Celsius and that there was dew on the ground.
The batting side benefits from dew, which makes it difficult for the bowlers to grasp the ball, as is well known. More than that, the ball gets onto the bat nicely—extracting seam, swing, and turn becomes challenging, according to Bharat Arun, the former India bowling coach. The team batting second in an ODI has a big advantage. Insiders of the Indian team believe that during the 2016 T20 World Cup semifinal at the Wankhede in Mumbai, where West Indies successfully chased down a total of 192, they encountered the worst of the dew.
In the first 10 games of the current World Cup, there is a 5:5 split between teams winning when they bat first and second. There is no doubting the possibility that batting second has an advantage, even though the evidence is not yet clear.
Jos Buttler lamented losing the toss when England and New Zealand faced off in the World Cup opener on October 5. The latter team had successfully chased down the mark of 283 in just over 36 overs. Tom Latham, the captain of New Zealand, won the toss and decided to field first. The fact that India batted second in their match against Australia gave them an advantage, and Pakistan recently set a world record by chasing down 345 runs against Sri Lanka in Hyderabad because to the dew.
“I think in all the matches we have seen, toss has been vital because under the lights the pitch behaves well. We will ask the umpire if there will be a spray or not for dew. But last night there was dew. Under the lights, the weather plays a role,” Babar Azam said on the eve of the big game directly saying that the toss will have a huge role.
Rohit Shama, however, played down the impact of dew. “Honestly, I don’t know how much of a factor it is going to be, because in Delhi, we were expecting dew to come in. It didn’t come. Chennai also, it was after probably 30 overs. So, you are done with 75% of the game by then,” the India skipper observed, stating that the toss is not a big factor. “So, I don’t think toss is going to play a massive factor. It is what the team is comfortable doing, whether it is chasing, posting a total, whatever that is. You know, whatever the team is comfortable doing, we try to do that.”
What Rohit and Babar are going to choose after winning the toss is not really clear. The result of the toss will still be crucial despite all other circumstances, including pressure, home conditions, spectators, historical rivalry, and cricketing prowess.