Captains in IPL 2023 will walk out for the toss with two different team sheets, and hand in their final XIs after the toss. That is one of the significant tweaks to the IPL's playing conditions, which will soon be shared with the teams. The change, the IPL said in an internal note listing the various changes to playing conditions, would allow franchises to pick their best XIs based on whether they end up batting or bowling, the appropriate impact player included.
"Currently the captains have to exchange the teams before the toss," the note, seen by ESPNcricinfo, said. "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."
The IPL becomes the second T20 franchise league after the SA20 to allow teams to announce their XIs after the toss. In the SA20, which staged its inaugural season earlier this year, teams put 13 names on the team sheets initially before announcing their final XIs after the toss. Graeme Smith, the SA20 tournament director, had said then that the move was designed to "lessen the impact of the toss" and allow a level-playing field based on the conditions. The numbers at the end of the SA20 season were pretty even: out of the 33 matches, teams winning the toss won 15 times and lost 16 (two no results).
The IPL has adopted a similar thought process now, with another key factor being neutralising the effect of dew somewhat - dew has traditionally had a big impact at some venues in India, with teams bowling second adversely impacted.
The numbers from 2019 - the previous time the IPL was played in India in a home-and-away format - illustrate that teams winning the toss went on to win more often than not: across 60 games, teams won 34 and lost 23 after winning the toss (not including Super Overs and no results).
While the toss will still matter, with the new rule it should not be a case of "win toss, win match" in certain conditions, with teams allowed to tweak their teams accordingly. For example, if a team that wanted to bat and then defend a total on a slow track in turning conditions is forced to bowl first, it can play an extra spinner in the starting XI, and then replace a specialist bowler with a batter in the second innings to help with the run chase.
Other tweaks to the IPL playing conditions
Over-rate penalty of only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle for every over not completed in the allocated time.
Unfair movement of the wicketkeeper will result in a dead ball and five penalty runs.
Unfair movement by a fielder will result in a dead ball and five penalty runs.