Indian cricket needs to transform to bring back T20 World cup

The IPL has also shown it’s slowly turning into a young man’s game. The batting manual has changed considerably too, with younger players batting like baseball hitters.
BCCI (File Photo | PTI)
BCCI (File Photo | PTI)

Runs and more runs seemed to be the theme of this season’s Indian Premier League. The stadiums seemed to shrink as batters targeted all parts of the ground. Powerplay dynamics changed with some teams scoring more than 100 runs in six overs. If spectators came to watch sixes, they were treated to a flurry—1,260 sixes were hit this year, the highest the tournament has ever seen. The league seemed to be transforming in its 17th year, with any batter with a strike rate of less than 150 not considered good.

The IPL has also shown it’s slowly turning into a young man’s game. The batting manual has changed considerably too, with younger players batting like baseball hitters. There were some outrageous hoicks in front and behind the wicket. Record totals were posted and then broken. And the batter to top the list is an uncapped Indian—Abhishek Sharma. What the youngsters have done also had a ripple effect on seniors such as Virat Kohli, who hit 38 sixes and was just behind Abhishek and South Africa’s Heinrich Klaasen. The most expensive player at the IPL, Mitchell Starc, lived up to his billing.

A topic that started to swirl into a debate was that of the Impact Player. The rule, introduced last year, gave flexibility to the teams and helped them score big. The general refrain has been that it usually helps the batting team, as if there is an extra batter. Many bowlers, especially India internationals, spoke against the rule and hoped things would change in the future. In a season of changes, some things remained the same, too. The top two teams from the league stage went into the final—KKR and SRH. The team that had the most impactful bowling attack went away with the trophy.

As the IPL brouhaha settles down, India will be focusing on the T20 World Cup. Most players, including captain Rohit Sharma, his deputy Hardik Pandya and pacer Mohammed Siraj, had a forgettable tournament. Even veteran all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja had a modest outing. But Jasprit Bumrah was exceptional with the ball. It’s time for all players to pick up the pieces and string together a memorable World Cup. India have not won an ICC title since 2013 and the team needs to transform to secure the coveted Cup. Over to the World Cup now.

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