Robin Bist and Vineet Saxena. Do these names ring a bell? Yes, they were the pillars for Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy win, this year. Which teams do they represent in IPL? Vineet, doesn’t have a contract and Bist is listed to play for the Delhi Daredevils
If this is the plight of players in a winning team, imagine that of the players from the plate league. One of the biggest advantages, while playing in IPL, is hobnobbing with the best players in the world. Citing the examples above, the players have been failed by the system, unless Robin Bist is learning the technique of switch hit and paddle scoop from Kevin Pietersen and Dilshan respectively.
The established players can certainly teach the local players the technique, but the vision and the execution has to flow from that particular player’s brain. It is actually shocking to see a few esteemed heads taking the side of IPL ( not T20 internationals). From the other side, the grass doesn’t seem too green on the IPL side
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There are players who represent teams in the plate league, and are capable of making the grade in IPL. Speaking to one such player, he readily accepted that his action was suspect and was sent to the NCA for corrective measures. Though he made the changes in his action, he is constantly riddled by the questions of ‘What if’
Now imagine, if this guy were to interact with Muralidaran, he would not gain in bowling ability, but he would get some advice in harnessing the brain. The same player said “To make the national team, you need to have talent. Backing up that talent, is also very crucial. Virat Kohli (with whom he played in the U-19 level) is an example of the same. Once you make the grade…..”
He trailed off in his last few words. After much goading, he managed to stitch together an incoherent response. He said that once you make the national grade, even in the presence of a suspect action, it would be tough to bring the player back to the roots. Without actually indicating the names, he hinted at the bowlers who had a suspect action
He sustains himself by playing in three leagues, in different cities. Though he is humorous and happy with the position he finds himself, there must be a regret that given his talent, he could have done with some help
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At the other end of the spectrum, there is this man who found his way into a Ranji team, based on one very good innings in the IPL. Nobody grudges him the chance as he made his way in by facing some quality bowlers in the tournament.
That he did nothing to actually enhance his reputation by playing well in his debut will hang like an albatross on his neck. He got multiple chances and situations to prove himself. All he did on most occasions was to go for the ball, from ball one. His strike rate was up there, but the one time that he managed to rein in the attacking instincts and play, he scored his highest of the season- a half-century.
He has himself to blame. When the entire team was adhering to the strict rules, he went out and flouted the rules. That he lacked the discipline was evident to an outsider, but he had an IPL contract on hand. This season, he has managed to replicate the first class cricket form and finds himself in and out of the team he represents
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That IPL helps the cause of cricketers in India, at least financially, is the most bandied about reason by people who see no wrong in IPL. If the larger interests of cricket are at the heart of the administrators, they would do well to add a team consisting of associate and affiliate nations. If the owners would have had the time to cast their eye on the recently conducted ICC WT20 Qualifiers, they would’ve cast their net on a lot of players. The owners, though, will only let in players dictated by the finance potential of the respective players
Not everything is wrong with the IPL. In the next post, I will discuss the positives to come out, not just financial, of the tournament