IPL Snippets: If Sunil Gavaskar had played T20!

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 22, 2010 14:49 hrs

They can’t bat… or can they?

They said Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman couldn’t play T20.

They missed the 2007 T20 World Cup. However, both of them have a T20 strike rate of about 120 per cent, which is pretty decent. Dravid played some blistering knocks in IPL1.

Then they said Jacques Kallis wasn’t suited for the shortest version of the game. He didn’t play in World Cup 2007 either. Recently Kallis smashed 89 off 55 balls to chase a 200+ score in IPL3.

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Makes you think that it’s all a state of mind.

If you are a great Test player, you can flourish in any version if you really set your mind to it.

Maybe that applies even to the great Sunil Gavaskar.

I know you’ll scoff and point to his ODI career strike rate of 62 and his 36 runs off 60 overs in the 1975 WC.

But Gavaskar refused to change his game in ODIs and in those days, openers had to just hang in there for the first 15 overs. He stepped up nearing his retirement and how!

His last 11 matches went at a strike rate of 76 with an average of 57. Top ODI class by 1987 standards! That also included the World Cup’s fastest century, which was his first!

Is the IPL too long?

In the IPL, every team plays each other twice and the tournament is spread over one-and-a-half months. Is that too much? More importantly, does it stress the players and result in injuries?

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had once said that this was the toughest form of the game as all the intensity was packed into a matter of hours. Now he’s been hit on the elbow by pacer Shane Bond and is out of action for 10 days.

Let’s hope it’s nothing serious, for the World Cup is around the corner. He joins the increasingly growing injury list of IPL3: Graeme Smith, Dmitri Mascarenhas, Shaun Marsh, Brett Lee, Ashish Nehra...

We could almost have an Injured Players XI! When IPL expands to 12 teams, we hope that teams will play each other just once.

A Question of Loyalty

While which team to support in international cricket is a no-brainer, the IPL is a much tougher proposition.

The current crop of city-dwellers is a gypsy generation, some lasting for just a few years in a city.

Like in my case, I was born and worked in Delhi, studied in Mumbai & Rajasthan and currently live in Bangalore.

To make matters worse, my favourite explosive players: Virender Sehwag, Dhoni and Adam Gilchrist are in three entirely different teams.

So which team to support? I’m sure millions of others share my predicament. Guess it’s better to just enjoy the all-round power hitting in the round robin stage and pick the favourite after the semi-final line-up.

Gen-T20 in Tests!

The pace in Tests is getting faster and faster, thanks to people like Sehwag. That’s been one of the positive influences of ODIs.

There have been also debates on introducing coloured clothing, coloured balls and day night matches in Test cricket. Therefore one really can’t predict the state of Tests say 10 years from now.

IPL 2010: Full Coverage

What about the influence of T20s on Tests? Will the pace become even faster? An example is Yusuf Pathan. He hit a first class double century within 200 balls. Will he be another Sehwag in Tests too?

What about the rest of the T20 Generation, who will definitely make it to the Test side in the years to come. That will be worth watching.

More friendly now

Is it just me or do the all the opposing players seem more friendly during India’s international matches?

Relations between India and Australia reached rock bottom in Sydney in January 2008. That was months before IPL1. But since then the players seem to be getting friendlier.

India-Australia-South Africa matches don’t have the same amount of sledging and animosity as in the past. Wonder if the IPL has anything to do with that.

We are already in the third season and all the international players know each other much better. Ricky Ponting said in a recent press conference that he understood the Indian team better thanks to IPL.

In the last Australia series Dhoni was heard on the stump mike saying: “Dhyan se, woh Hindi samajhta hain, IPL main khelta hain”. (Careful, he understands Hindi. He plays in IPL)

IPL in Bollywood

There have been many Bollywood movies on cricket: All-rounder, Awwal Number, Malamal, Jannat, Victory, Dil Bole Hadippa… and of course Lagaan.

There are many Bollywood stars in IPL: Shahrukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Priety Zinta and Shilpa Shetty.

It’s unusual that none of these stars have thought of a movie starring a T20 tournament with twists and turns. Bollywood + T20 + glamour + cheerleaders + international stars + politics would be a heady combination.

Maybe by IPL4 then!