How the IPL 2019 can help India win the World Cup this year - 5 key points
The IPL is surely cramping up a lot of schedules this year. With the World Cup and the General Elections in India both scheduled for this year, it is surely a logistical nightmare for the BCCI to squeeze in the IPL.
Other than generating copious amounts of revenue year after year, the IPL has also been a breeding ground for young talent in India and no one is a greater testimony of the fact than Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah. After having started as a young rookie with a different action under the Mumbai Indians not so long ago, Jasprit Bumrah has taken giant strides to become the Indian bowling ace within a very short period of time.
However, scheduling an intense hard-fought tournament like IPL within close proximity to the World Cup implies risking injuries to key players and subsequent loss at the world's most important cricket event. Nevertheless, if the recent BCCI releases are anything to go by, the IPL is going nowhere and the BCCI is well on its way to get started with its 12th edition.
Looking at the positive side of things though, the IPL could very well turn out to a blessing in disguise and might actually help India rectify a few chinks in its armour going into the World Cup. It is no secret that the Indian team led by Virat Kohli along with the World Cup hosts, England, would start as favourites lift the World Cup at Lords and while India does boast of a strong side, there are definitely a few areas that the men in blue would like to address.
Here's a look at how the IPL 2019 is the ideal opportunity for India to prepare itself for the quest to win the World Cup in 2015. Let us have a look at 5 key points on how the 12th edition of the IPL can help India win the World Cup this year.
#1 The Number 4 puzzle
India have traditionally been blessed with batting riches. Everytime a legend retires, they have somehow found someone to fill in the big shoes. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan walking out to open the innings may not yet have the same aura as a Tendulkar- Ganguly or Tendulkar- Sehwag pair used to have but invariably, they are definitely the best in the world at the moment.
Going by current form, they could soon be placed at comparable pedestals with the above-mentioned legends. Virat Kohli, coming in at number 3, is undoubtedly the best batsman in the world at the moment. But that is where it ends. Number 4 has been a perennial struggle for India in the last 7-8 years. Yuvraj Singh remains the last dependable and successful batsman at that position for India over a sustained period.
Since 2011, once Yuvraj was out of the team owing to cancer, India have tried different options including the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, KL Rahul etc at the spot. But all of them failed to nail down that position in their name. Of late, Ambati Rayudu has made a strong claim to the position courtesy of some good performances in the Asia Cup.
With the flamboyant top 3 that India have, the number 4 position becomes especially tricky. On most occasions, they might be in situations requiring them to fire from the word go. They could also have to drop anchor and steer the team in case of a dramatic top-order collapse. Last IPL saw Rayudu going up and down the CSK batting ranks and performing well on most occasions. As such If Rayudu can continue being the floater that he was at CSK last year and deliver some consistent performances, it would be a huge boost for India going ahead.