The Indian Premier League (IPL) came under fire this weekend after the Indian team conceded to Australia in the World Test Championship. Multiple experts and former players have blamed the team’s lack of preparation and the current team coach and captain, Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma, agree. The loss marks India’s second WTC Finals loss in two years and, according to detractors, the IPL is responsible. The consensus seems to be that the league is disrupting the team’s efforts to prepare. But amidst the uproar, former coach Ravi Shastri has come out in defence of the IPL. More below.
Thanking the IPL
Coach Shastri is convinced that the IPL is not to blame for the Indian team’s misfortunes. With cricket being the most popular sport in India, the league is actually one of the most anticipated events of the year. This year, it kicked off on 31 March and fans and players alike have been knee-deep in the action since then. For fans, participation in the IPL involves watching the games, using the parimatch bonus code to bet on the outcomes, and discussing the results.
For the players, the IPL means more time on the field, training, and competing. This, according to some former players, is a distraction that is preventing the team from preparing adequately for the WTC. 61-year-old Shastri disagrees. According to Shastri, the IPL is actually responsible for the success and recognition Indian cricket is enjoying today. Shastri believes people should “thank the IPL” for producing players who have climbed the circuit ladder and are now playing Test cricket.
“Enough Time to Train”
The main complaint lodged against the IPL is that the 2023 season has “tired out” the Indian team so much that they could not win the WTC final. Some experts also argue that it caused the team to arrive late in England, which gave them less time to settle into the environment.
Shastri has rubbished these claims, claiming that there was no acclimatization needed. The team need-only adjust to the conditions on the field.
Shastri is also adamant that the one-week break between the end of the IPL season and the Australia-India game was enough for the team to prepare for the final. He has also said, “It’s more about understanding what the conditions demand in England and practice towards it.”
Moving Forward: Upcoming Matches
After losing to Australia, whatever the reason, the Indian team will get a one-month break before they go up against the West Indies. Their next cycle will begin with a 2-match test series in July, followed by a 3-match ODI and 5-match T20I series.