Thursday 24 June 2021
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Dravid: Indian talent unable to find place in IPL

'There are a lot of talented players who are not getting an opportunity to play,' the former Indian captain and director of the National Cricket Academy said

Former Indian captain and Director of National Cricket Academy Rahul Dravid believes that more youngsters will get a chance to grow in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Dravid said, “I feel IPL is ready for expansion in terms of talent if you look from a talent perspective. There are a lot of talented players who are not getting an opportunity to play.”

“So I believe we are ready as there are a lot of new names and faces in terms of talent perspective,” Dravid said during the virtual launch of Badale’s book ‘A New Innings’, which he co-authored with former English cricketer Simon Hughes.

After the successful conduct of the 13th season of the IPL, experts are demanding the inclusion of a new team in the next season. This season many new faces made their mark. For the youth, IPL is a platform through which they can travel to the Indian team.

Dravid said that youth are selected in the team but they are unable to make a place in the playing. After the arrival of more teams, more and more youth will get a place in the playing eleven. “There are many talented players from India who are not getting a chance. They are all really talented but they do not get a place in the playing eleven.”

Youngsters Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill have received coaching of Rahul Dravid, who got the chance to play for the Indian cricket team. While being the coach of India A and Under 19 team, the former captain has taught a lot to all these players.

“I have been with the U-19 team as a coach for a long time and it feels good to see that a lot of U-19 team players are succeeding in their place. There are many more talent who are still waiting for their opportunity is.”

“BCCI needs to take a decision and they will take a call on what would be the exact approach.

“Making a nine-team league in 2021 is definitely possible but as a consequence, you will have to have more afternoon games and maintain the quality of the competition,” said Badale, a British citizen of Indian origin.

Dravid, on his part, explained why Mumbai Indians have been such a prolific team having won an unprecedented five IPL titles in 13 editions.

“They (MI) have a strong core with high quality. Their core is built with world-class T20 players and balanced it with young exciting talent. They have a very strong scouting structure in place,” Dravid said. He said it is because of IPL that someone like Rahul Tewatia from Haryana has been able to showcase his skills to a global audience.

“Earlier, you only depended on your state association to select you for Ranji Trophy. Now, from a state like Haryana which produces so many quality spinners like Yuzvendra Chahal, Amit Mishra and Jayant Yadav, Tewatia would have had limited opportunities. So it’s no longer limited to state associations,” said Dravid.

He spoke about the heady feeling of playing international cricket without actually playing one, which the IPL provides. “As coaches, we can help the young players in their journeys but what helps them grow is experience. Look at a Devdutt Padikkal who is batting alongside Virat Kohli or can learn from AB de Villiers,” Dravid said.

Another aspect in which the IPL has helped young players is the availability of worthwhile data to improve their game.

“Look at someone like T Natarajan. It was because of the quality of data that he was able to go back and work on his yorker and that one skill has now got him into the Indian team,” he said.

The last decade (2011-2020), according to Dravid, has been India’s best in terms of white ball cricket and the IPL has contributed with its appropriate tagline ‘talent meets opportunity’.

“It has been India’s best performing decade in white ball cricket. We won a World Cup (2011), Champions Trophy (2013) and reached semi-finals and finals of World T20. Young players have learnt a lot watching and listening to experts on TV,” he said.

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Shubham Mehta
Professor of constitutional law, Shubham Mehta also runs a school in Karnal

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