Sunil Gavaskar column: IPL is a league where talent meets opportunity

Sunil Gavaskar
Filed on April 9, 2021
T. Natarajan, who had a dream season last year. (BCCI)

Indian players know that a good performance in the IPL would increase manifold their chances of playing for the country.

Like the last season, this year’s IPL edition also begins under the huge shadow of the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic. We have only ourselves to blame for it for not observing the simple things that we were told to do. Hopefully like the one last year in UAE, this one will also go on unhindered and produce many more magical moments than previous years.

The mini auction saw franchises spend big money on some players and that too on some whose credentials are in doubt because of their history of fitness issues and some whose attitude towards the tournament has been casual to say the least. Since the money is guaranteed irrespective of performance and as long as they know that the performance in this tournament is not going to jeopardise their chances of selection for their national teams these players play carelessly and have let down their teams very badly.

On the other hand, the Indian players now know that with the visibility they get through the tournament their chances of playing for India increase manifold if they perform well for their franchise.

In a format where the fortunes can change in a matter of a few heartbeats it’s difficult to predict a winner as every team possess a galaxy of talent and has game changers and impact players.

The teams will have to be mindful of the fact that the pitches will be different from the slightly quicker ones in the UAE and will afford a lot more turn in April-May and also that the boundaries will be shorter on Indian grounds and so will need to balance their elevens accordingly.

So who are the youngsters to look forward to? Ruturaj Gaikwad who was brilliantly consistent towards the second half the last season, Prithvi Shaw after his Vijay Hazare Trophy record setting deeds, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav who made such impressive debuts for India, Sanju Samson with the added responsibility of captaining the Rajasthan team, Devdutt Padikkal, the Bangalore southpaw who was sensational last season, Priyam Garg and Abdul Samad of Hyderabad to see if they have learnt from last season and score more this time.

Among the bowlers T Natarajan who had a dream season, Kyle Jamieson, the NZ pacer who can also bat, Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith of Punjab, the quicks trio of Kolkata, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti and spinner Varun Chakravarthy and Chennai’s Sam Curran and Shardul Thakur who have made such rapid strides in international cricket.

There will be others too who the cricketing world will know more about by May 31. That is the beauty of this tournament where talent meets opportunity. (TCM)

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