The Indian team, who were deemed as underdogs against the likes of opponents such as Australia, England and South Africa, is now dominating the world cricket with depth and variety in the current and benched squad of the team in all three departments. While domestic cricket has garnered the scouting process, it was the inception of IPL that turned the tables for the national side with the fiercest of young talent it has produced in the last decade.
From Brendon McCullum’s unbeaten 158 on April 18, 2008, to Chris Gayle’s 175, the most coveted league in the cricket world has seen the biggest stars of the game competing against each other. Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid, Wasim Jaffer, Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly are among the players who have showcased their magic in the famous T20 league.
IPL: Game-changer in the life of youngsters
Without a doubt, domestic cricket in India is the purest form of the game and has been the biggest contributor in scouting the young talents from a crowd of 1.3 billion people in the country, but the hierarchy seems an excessively big ladder for the teenagers, who have a dream of donning the Indian Jersey, and that’s where IPL has come into the picture. Chinnappampatti, a village near Salem in Tamil Nadu is mere a landmark on Indian Map and it would have been the same way until T. Natarajan, the man from Kerala, changed the situation in a span of two months.
Natrajan scripted the history when he became the first Indian to make an international debut in 3 formats of the game on the same tour and credit goes to IPL which helped him to find his name in the playing XI. The list goes on with Hardik Pandya and brother Krunal Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini and the latest to make the list is a young lad from Bihar, 22-year-old Ishan Kishan. Apart from giving an edge to the youngsters, the league has helped veteran batter Suryakumar Yadav and in the comeback of Ambati Rayudu.
IPL has substantially helped the domestic players to get the taste of international cricket as they get a chance to play with and against the best cricketers around the globe, while also gave them the opportunity to learn from international coaches like Ricky Ponting and Trevor Bayliss.
The truth in numbers
We have compared the success rate of India playing before the IPL i.e., 1995-2007 and after it, which is the period from 2008-20. Both sides of the comparison cover a span of 13 years. In the pre-IPL era, India played a total of 412 ODI matches and won on 200 occasions, which gives the Men in Blue a success rate of 48%. On the other hand, the post IPL era saw the team winning 196 matches in 369 ODIs, which equates to a success rate of 53%. While many would say that the increase was not significant and playing T20 does not help the longer format of the game which is the real testament of a player, the numbers say otherwise.
India have played 120 Test matches in the period 1995-2007, winning only 39 with a success rate of 32.5%. The post IPL period saw remarkable growth with a success rate of 50%, with India winning half of the matches they played, (66 out of 132 matches).
There is no denial that IPL has greatly impacted the mindset of players physically and mentally, with modern cricket demanding more and more from the players in both the aspect. The fearless sweeps, revere sweeps and uppercuts played by Indian youngsters against the most lethal bowlers around the globe should be credited to IPL, which has changed the batting intent that modern cricket demanded.