IPL 2023: Teams to pick playing XIs after the toss

In an interesting move, the teams in the Indian Premier League will now have a chance to name their playing XIs only after the toss. Captains will walk out to the toss with two different team sheets and submit one of those sheets after the toss. 

The new playing condition in the IPL 2023 will allow the franchises to select their best possible XI for the match, depending on whether they bat first or bowl first. This is amongst the several changes in the IPL playing conditions for the upcoming season, which is also set to have an ‘Impact Player' rule.

“Currently the captains have to exchange the teams before the toss. This has been changed to exchange of teams immediately post the toss, to enable teams to choose the best XI depending on whether they are batting or bowling first. It will also assist the teams to plan for the impact player,” IPL said in an interim note. 

The IPL becomes the second T20 league to introduce the rule of naming playing XIs after the toss. Earlier, South Africa's SA20 had a similar rule where a team could name 13 players on the team sheet before announcing the final XI following the toss. 

Graeme Smith, the director of the SA20 had said then that the rule was introduced to minimise the impact of the toss and enable a more competitive action based on the conditions. 

The numbers in the IPL suggest the team winning the toss has gone on to win more matches and the rule is brought in to lessen that impact. It is expected to increase the quality of the game as the teams will now be able to adjust even if they lose the toss.

While the team batting second has an inherent advantage, the team that loses the toss and bats first, can name a batting-heavy side. The impact player rule further makes it interesting as the same team can then replace a batter with a bowler in the second innings. Likewise, if a team wants to bat first but is asked to bowl first after losing the toss, they can name an extra bowler and replace him with a batter later on. All in all, the upcoming season promises to be exciting in regards to strategic gameplay.

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The league has introduced a few more tweaks to the playing conditions. The fielding team will now be penalised for slow over-rate. Under this rule, the team will be allowed only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle for every over they fail to complete in the allocated time. This rule has been implemented in other leagues as well as in international cricket. 

Unfair movement from the fielding side will also have its consequences. If a wicketkeeper or fielder makes an unfair movement, it will result in a dead ball and five penalty runs.

The IPL 2023 is set to begin from March 31 with the defending champions Gujarat Titans clashing with Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India