In the last 12 years, Indian Premier League has been the tournament that has not only set standards for international cricket but also has created heroes out of domestic players. Players all across the world get to play in front of a stadium packed with fans who are passionately hungry for a good game of cricket. IPL has not been a basic league since years now. It is a make-your-career or you-know-you’re-almost-done-with-your-career kind of tournament. So, what does this year’s IPL hold for players? Let’s try and figure out.
World Cup Saga:
2019 is the year of the World Cup. Every player across the world has their eyes on their selection in the World Cup squad, and every champion player wants to win the World Cup for their country.
With IPL having matches in the hot summer of the Indian subcontinent, it is evident that it takes a toll on most of the players. Playing, travelling, practising, shooting for sponsors with minimal sleep and rest can wear out even the fittest player after the tournament. With the World Cup just a month later, the fitness of the big shot players could be a worry for every national team. Though there have been talks about balancing the load from the players in the second half of the IPL, it would be really interesting how IPL team will draft their plans for an IPL victory without their key players.
World Cup & India:
Captain, Virat Kohli seems sure of his Playing 11 for India for World Cup. Personally, I don’t think India has got their 11 sorted and Virat, selectors and Indian team management should keep their eyes open to find a balance in the team which will win matches in the English Summer.
IPL provides a stage for many players to prove their mettle for the World Cup. Players like, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa, KL Rahul, R. Ashwin will try and gain their spots in the 15 man squad for India. Also, with IPL, you never know which new rising star could make the team!
Warner and Smith:
David Warner and Steve Smith have been facing bans for almost a year now. They are punished for wrong decision making and not following the spirit of the game. Both of these power players will be back on the field after a long run and will be scrutinized under the eyes of Cricket Australia and fans equally. They have the Indian summer to prove that they deserved a place in the already powerful Australian team.
Honestly, the Australian team did face a downfall after these powerful batsmen were banned but they have regrouped very effectively under the captaincy of Tim Paine and Aaron Finch. Will Steve Smith regain captaincy, will he even be a part of the team, IPL and time will tell.
Dhoni and the clouds of retirement:
With the fact that Dhoni had been rested from the last two ODI matches played in India, it is conspicuous that the World Cup will be his last tournament in international cricket. Which brings us to this question: Is this Dhoni’s last IPL of will he still play IPL after hanging his boots? Only one person can answer this question, Dhoni himself.
Politically speaking, there is a huge chance that Dhoni might be playing his last IPL. He would like to retire in grace with 3 IPL trophies in his bag and a solid comeback by Chennai Super Kings last year.
Action and Quality Cricket:
At the end of the day, despite all the knick-knacks IPL brings with itself, high-quality cricketing action every day, from every team. Every player wants to play their best, every player is looking for recognition, every player wants to show that their passion for cricket is not worthless, they deserve more.
The action beings today!
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