India will have to bear pot shots at the IPL

India will have to bear pot shots at the IPL

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 31, 2013 04:36 hrs
CSK beat Rajasthan to stay alive in IPL V

The international cricket season in the subcontinent and the southern hemisphere is coming to an end by the time you read this and all eyes will be on the Indian Premier League which starts in a few days time.

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Since the international season in England starts in May, and not many English players are featuring in the IPL, the media there, as is their wont, will turn up their noses and pretend that nothing is happening in India, or even if there is something to be written about, it will invariably be poking fun at the IPL.

Having beaten India in India towards the end of last year in the Test series, England certainly have the bragging rights, and though their T20 league is as bland as their food, we in India will have to bear the pot shots that will be taken at the IPL.

Bangladesh have finished off their tour of Sri Lanka with an impressive win over the hosts in the third and final one-dayer which levelled the series, and though they lost the Test series, their performance in the two Tests give hope that they will be more competitive in international cricket than before.

The self-belief and the confidence that has come into Bangladesh cricket can be traced to the introduction of the Bangladesh Premier League. Suddenly Bangladesh's young players were sharing dressing rooms and rubbing shoulders with some of the giants of the game like Chris Gayle.

The lessons they learnt could be seen in their Asia Cup campaign where they narrowly lost to Pakistan in the finals having earlier beaten both Sri Lanka and India in the league stage of the tournament. While they still have some way to go, they will no longer be the pushovers they were before the BPL.

The attack on Jesse Ryder is most unfortunate and hopefully he will be back on the cricket field sooner than later. New Zealand cricket will be heartened by their efforts in the Test series against England, and especially the comeback of Peter Fulton who cracked a century in each innings of the third Test.

Tillakaratne Dilshan has had a tremendous series against the Bangladeshis and is back to his century scoring ways and not throwing it away after getting off to a rousing start.

At this time of the season, spinners generally rule the roost on pitches that are tired and dusty, so Nathan Lyon in India and Shane Shillingford in the West Indies have had great returns for their spinners.

However, it is once again the batsmen who are leaders and the Ceat International Cricketer of the Week accolade is shared by Dilshan and Peter Fulton for their tons for their respective teams.
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