CHENNAI: The Indian Premier League (IPL) is an ideal platform for youngsters to make an impact and stake a claim in the national side. Several youngsters like Yashasvi Jaiswal (Rajasthan Royals), Priyam Garg (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Ravi Bishnoi (Kings XI Punjab), Kartik Tyagi (Rajasthan Royals) who did well at the U-19 World Cup will be closely watched along with other youngsters.
Aashish Kapoor, chairman of the junior national selection committee, believes that IPL is a good platform and insists that the youngsters must be nurtured carefully.
“It is a good platform for the likes of Jaiswal and Co. All the U-19 boys and other youngsters in the various IPL teams will be vying for top honours. A good performance in the IPL will be noted by one and all, so they will be motivated to do well,’’ said Aashish.
“Performance of the youngsters depend upon the slots and roles they get in the various teams. One cannot get the slot he wishes. A top order batsman may have to bat lower down the order and a middle-order batsman may come in the end. It all boils down to where the boys are slotted and the position they bat or bowl,’’ insisted the former India spinner.
Getting the right captain can also make a big difference, feels Kapoor. “Captains have a big role in shaping a youngster’s career. Take MS Dhoni for example. He encouraged a young R Ashwin in 2009 at CSK. With that initial encouragement, Ashwin went up the ladder quickly to play for India and is now one of the best spinners in the world.
“Captain’s encouragement and support is vital. If a captain believes that a youngster is talented he must back him to the hilt and give enough opportunities to exhibit his talent,’’ explained the former Tamil Nadu cricketer. In these challenging times, are the youngsters mentally tough to go through the grind?
“Can these youngsters have the mental toughness of a Sunil Gavaskar, certainly not. This generation cannot match the mental make-up of yesteryear cricketers. (But) what these boys have is a burning desire to play for India and this helps them to adapt to the bio bubble, and protocols. With time, experience and playing in different conditions and against various opposition teams, they will develop mental toughness. At the moment, setting short term goals is the key for success,’’ opined Kapoor, who has been part of Delhi Daredevils.
Youngsters today are inspired by likes of Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill who have made an impression.“I would prefer the youngsters to have their own individuality and not try to be someone else,’’ he concluded.