Wednesday, 1 February 2012

What is the use of IPL then?

India's nightmares continue as they lost yet again. Even the change in color could n't change India's fortunes abroad as India lost the first T20 against Australia by 31 runs. Chasing 172, India managed just 140 with another middle order collapse. India has now become used to such collapses over the past 1 year and the youngsters were no different from the senior pros in the shorter format. This T20 loss also reflects India's dwindling T20 record since that World cup victory in 2007.

From 2008 onwards, the IPL is being played every year aimed at giving youngsters exposure and feel of international T20 cricket. But even then India are doing very badly on the T20 front. In that case whats the use of spending so much money and fatiguing the players? In 3 days time players will be auctioned for yet another IPL, IPL 5 but it seems it will do little to improve India's chances at the World T20 this year in Sri Lanka.

Going down since 2007- India won the first ever T20 world cup in 2007. Fresh from the 2007 ODI world cup debacle, everyone thought India is at least headed towards dominance in the shortest format. But the story has been very sad since then. After 2007, 2 more world cups in 2009 and 2010 were played in which India failed to make it even to the last 4.  So far India has played 32 T20's winning 16 and losing 14. Barring 2006-07, India played 23 matches winning 10 and losing 13. And in the last 12 months India played 4 matches winning 1 and losing 3 with the lone win coming against the West indies. So it is clear that India T20's performance has indeed gone down since the high in 2007.

In 2008, the IPL was launched amongst much fanfare with the BCCI officials claiming that the sole purpose of the lucrative league was to encourage young Indian players and give them a very valuable experience of playing with top international stars. It was expected that the IPL would produce fine young players who would take India to glory, at least in T20, the format in which the IPL is played. But as it turned out, the result was quite the opposite. IPL only managed to earn money and headlines rather than the above listed objectives.

The youngsters seem to be so obsessed with the IPL and the money involved that their sole aim has shifted from being in the national team to being selected by a franchisee. Their T20 habits then leak to ODI's and even in tests. They do not look equipped to deal with foreign conditions as they have become habitual of playing on flat tracks in India. Add to that the physical and mental fatigue the 45 day extravaganza causes to the players which results in injuries and lackluster performances.

Some people say that allowing younger players to play with international players does no harm but what good is it doing when India are losing T20's and ODI's abroad? The younger brigade was expected to turn India's fortunes down under. They boasted of being world champions and free of any mental pressure. But in the end it was the same old story. Runs conceded, a middle order collapse and India lost another match.


  1. After 8 losses you are still a vehement senior supporter. For the youngsters you give only one game?

    Also losing is not the issue...its the stubbornness, sameness, refusal to admit something is wrong...etc etc

    Seniors are holding back the team...once they are gone the next 5 years will be exciting for India

  2. I am not supporting the seniors. I am just stressing on the fact that these juniors despite playing at least 15 T20's a year regularly still cannot take India to victory in this format where other players don't play it as much. I expect these to perform well in T20's given the IPL exposure. I have n't judged them/critized them on test or ODI front. And we have been losing T20's since 2008-09.

  3. I think it does not matter what format...The writing is on the wall. Representing the country has become optional for players. A second choice. Even the seniors have succumbed to it...These guys know that even if they fail while representing India, they will get contracts with the IPL. Where is the motivation?

    The World Cup was an exception to this trend but I guess it is natural to get pumped up about a world cup plus it was held in India.

    Also for T20s that are part of a tour, I think it must become difficult to gel as a team. Not enough time. And the WCs have all taken place after a hectic IPL schedule. That might explain India's poor T20 record.

    I don't follow English Soccer nor do I follow the IPL but I think Indian cricketers have become like English football players. Clubs/Money will always come first...After that if they have time and energy they will show up for a game for their country and expect to be "respected" for past accomplishments.

  4. Lets see if the ODI world cup effect shows up again when these guys play the ICC world T20 this year. But seriously the amount of T20 they play, there is no excuse for the poor record.