Saturday, June 7, 2008

The IPL Axe - Does it Exist?

When India announced its squad for the tri series in Bangladesh, it included Yusuf Pathan and Pragyan Ojha.

Although the selectors mentioned that their strong domestic performance had resulted in their call up, everyone knew that their IPL performance had a lot to do with their promotion to the international side.
That was the first piece of evidence that proved that performances in the IPL would have an impact on international selections.

Shane Watson was the next beneficiary of the IPL as the Australian selectors announced him as Matthew Hayden's replacement for the ODIs in the West Indies.

Today, Manpreet Gony became the latest international recruit on the back of a strong IPL performance.

With Sreesanth missing the tri series in Bangladesh due to injury, the Indian selectors named the Chennai Super Kings' Gony as his replacement.

Gony had an outstanding IPL finishing among the top 5 wicket takers. He led the Super Kings' attack impressively and was one of the many domestic cricketers that shone during the IPL.

For Gony it has been a fast and dreamy rise. He made his first class debut in December, played his first List A match 3 months ago, and now finds himself among India's best 15 ODI players.

Gony's performance in the Deodhar Trophy led to his selection for the Super Kings. His performance for the Super Kings led to his selection for India.

The question that then begs to be asked here is would Gony have been selected had the IPL not taken place? Was his performance in the Deodhar Trophy enough to warrant selection?

Its debateable, but I would say that Gony would not be in India's ODI squad had it not been for the IPL.

The same applies for Pathan, Ojha, and Watson.

So then, does a strong performance in the IPL guarantee international selection?

So far the trend suggests yes.

The Pakistani chief selector said that IPL performances will not be taken into account when they pick the Pakistan squad for the tri series in Bangladesh.

Well, majority of the Pakistani players flopped in the IPL. Thus had those performances been taken into account Misbah, Afridi, Malik et all would have been dropped.

So then, does a failure in the IPL lead to an axe from the national squad?

Probably not.

That's peculiar isn't it?

The cricketers are in a win-win situation here - while good performances in the IPL will be rewarded with international call ups, failures will not necessarily result in an axe.

Make your pitch on this post...



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15 Pitched:

  1. Ottayan said...
     

    Q,

    Look at it this way.

    There are no murmurs about Ganguly's omission from the ODI team.( Normally, Hoogly, would be in flames)

    Now tell me whether an IPL axe exists or not?

  2. Q said...
     

    It doesn't Ott.

    Ganguly was dropped from the ODI Squad in December. His IPL performance was not strong enough for him to make the squad - in relative terms, i.e. Rohit Sharma, Raina, Y Pathan did better.

    It wasn't the axe :-)

  3. Ottayan said...
     

    agreed.

    However, what I was driving at was an IPL non performance axes you from your fans mind.

  4. Q said...
     

    Oh yes maybe.. but Ganguly did alright in the IPL. He played a role in the few matches KKR won.

    Misbah's and Afridi's non performance hasn't affected the Pakistani fans much...

    Im not sure how the non-Indian fans perceive the failure of their international stars in the IPL.

    I mean we werent bothered with Malik, Afridi etc not performing. I dont think the Aussies were bothered abt Ponting either..

    But the Indian fans were affected whether Sehwag performed or not or Sachin played or not or Dravid failed or not..

  5. Trideep said...
     

    I feel its the new & young players who will get the benefits. Only Watson is an exception here. But even he is not a permanent member of the Aus team. Bad performances of the regulars wont affect their positions in IPL. Atleast in this edition. We cant say for the coming years though.

  6. saqib said...
     

    the question is, will they be able to translate their 20-20 form to the odis and if not then how will the selection committee react?

    on a different note i wonder how the pcb would have reacted if shoaib akhtar had not gotten injured and continued to perform

  7. Hasan said...
     

    There have been very few IPL call ups. 50 over cricket is far different from T20 and so it would be interesting to see if these new call ups can perform at that level.

    However, if one wishes to use the IPL to gauge rising stars then the IPL needs to be changed. More domestic stars need to be o display and play. More internationals per squad, lets say 6.

    There were many flops but Pakistan is not overly concerned. I would say I am personally concerned about Malik over the rest, but Pakistan can learn a bit from IPL. Such as, Butt to open and Afridi is a bowler.

    Much has to be done. IPL is a break from real cricket where true stars do not need to prove themselves.

  8. Jrod said...
     

    Watson would have been promoted with or without the IPL, because he is always promoted.

  9. Q said...
     

    I agree Trideep. For the regulars, an IPL failure would be ignored. But it definitely serves as a step up for the young ones.

  10. Q said...
     

    Thank you for your comments Saqib and Hassan and welcome to Well Pitched.

    I agree Saqib - it would be interesting to see how Pathan and Gony do for India, and how Watson does for the Aussies. Or whether Shaun Marsh would be as destructive as he was in the IPL.

    As for Shoaib, well his 5-year ban case is still pending so even if he had continued to perform I doubt PCB would have done much.. lets wait and c.. I think he's already played his last match for Pakistan.

  11. Q said...
     

    Hasan I think ur spot on abt the present stars not having to prove much in the IPL - or rather not as much as the new ones tryin to make a mark.

    Or it can be argued that someone like Dravid and Ganguy had something to prove. And they did.

    This tri series is the 3rd international tour following the IPL - NZ vs ENG, AUS vs WI, and now this - apart from the 1st one the other 2 includes IPL call ups. Plus all the non-internationals who performed in the IPL will soon be playing international cricket. I won't say there haven't been many - those who deserved it have made it.

    As for Pakistan - Afridi the bowler should have been figured out 10 years ago. Butt needs to be more consistent.

  12. Q said...
     

    Uncle J, I think the Aussie selectors had decided that it was over for Watson till he shot back with the IPL...

  13. David Barry said...
     

    Failures in T20 cricket don't mean much. There are lots of them. Making lots of runs in T20 shows that you are able to score at least some runs against reasonable- to good-class bowling. So it makes sense that you could be picked for ODI sides based on IPL performances, but wouldn't get dropped.

    It's similar for bowlers, though I'd be less confident about a transition from IPL to ODI cricket. You might be good at preventing boundaries and forcing dismissals when the prevailing run rate is 8 or 9, but giving up six singles an over isn't useful in fifty-over cricket.

  14. Jrod said...
     

    Q, no way. Did you nor forget what he did in the world cup, that was his most recent Australian form, they weren't going to burn their golden boy on that.

  15. Q said...
     

    Hmm.. I don't think he did anything with the ball did he? And I remember one good innings where he smashed the bowling at the end of the innings... he stayed unbeaten on 60 odd... hit some huge sixes. Dont remember against who...

    Apart from that though, nope don't remember anything of note..

    Aussie selectors at times puzzle me - yet they still have the best team in the world. Amazing.

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