The IPL myths

Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to find any Indian who doesn’t have anything to say about the IPL. Ask any Indian about it and chances are that you will get a vociferous response explaining his avid support or utter contempt for the IPL. While a lot of opinions are aired, there are a couple of widely held beliefs which need some revision.

One of the common debate doing the rounds is the effect of IPL on Indian cricket. Some say that it has had a positive effect on Indian cricket by providing a platform for budding cricketers to gain valuable experience by competing with International stars while others blame the IPL due to the fatigue factor it brings in and the huge amounts of money showered on young players which leads to the club over country mentality.

So the natural step would be to have a quick glance at the performances of the Indian cricket team after the IPL was conceptualized in 2008. Lets start with the debacles against England and Australia. The critics say that player fatigue due to IPL and the debilitating effects it has had on youngsters led to the dismal overseas performances. But an in-depth analysis of the fixtures shows that key members of the team like Dravid, Laxman , Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan had ample rest before they took the flights to England and Australia. It must also be remembered that the players from the IPL generation like Kohli, Ashwin and Gambhir  performed well in these tours.

Proponents of the IPL on the other hand praise the IPL for India’s achievements primarily the World Cup victory. However, the players who played the major roles in winning the cup; Sachin, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Dhoni, Zaheer had established themselves well before the IPL came into existence and had lots of experience. So it cannot be said that the IPL was the reason for India becoming world champions.

So, the correct and logical step would be to analyse the contributions of the IPL generation players for the Indian team.  This provides interesting results. On one hand we have Kohli, Ashwin and Raina who continue to impress with their sterling performances match after match and on the other hand we have players like Rohit Sharma, Jadeja and Yusuf Pathan who play exceedingly well for their franchisees but have somehow failed to live up to their expectations while playing for India.

A clearer picture on the effect of IPL would emerge later, say in 3-5 years of time when the Indian team would consist of players only from the IPL gen. Whether the IPL has affected youngsters playing for India would be seen from the performances of the Indian team at that time and not now.

To be continued