Cricket has become a ‘24 hours a day for 365 days’ sport, or so it seems looking at the calendar that is unfolding. Hardly has the Ashes series
finished, that a T20 and one-day series between the old rivals has started. There is also a series in Zimbabwe where Pakistan are playing a one-day and Test series.
Not too long after that, there will be a series somewhere or the other and in different time zones, so the die-hard cricket lover will get to see cricket to his heart's extent.
India has had a break of sorts from international cricket after the tri-series in West Indies. Some of the team members also went to Zimbabwe
for a five match one-day series but after that they have had time off. Most of them will now be involved in the Champions League T20 tournament which will be like a nice warm up for the international season that follows. If anything, India will have a real testing year ahead.
There is a one-day series with Australia and then two Tests against an improving West Indies team and then tours to South Africa, New Zealand and England. In between there will be the Asia Cup and the World T20 championship, so it is going to need full fitness from the players to play at their best all the time.
While there is a school of thought that the T20 format is not doing any good for the players, some players, especially batsmen, are actually showing that the T20 format has made them much more positive and proactive and has helped them in the longer formats as well. The T20 is not one that bowlers enjoy, for they are aware that the batsmen have the license to throw their bats at the ball from the first ball they face, and with the development in the quality of the bats, even mishits often clear the boundary fielders.
As with any thing, the cleverer bowlers will learn to bowl in a slightly different way to minimise the punishment they get from the batsmen, and once again that is something that they can use in the longer formats to surprise the batsmen when things are not going their way.
Aaron Finch is one player who has benefitted from the IPL and is now establishing himself firmly in the Australian limited overs team. He had
played a fair bit earlier for the Australian limited overs team without quite making a mark and was on the verge of being written off till his
deeds in the IPL gave him a new lease of life. He and Shaun Marsh got big hundreds against Scotland, but because Marsh got 150 plus, he pips Finch for the accolade of the Ceat international cricketer of the week.
Professional Management Group