In the just-concluded IPL 2020 in the UAE, Mumbai Indians secured an easy 5-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in the IPL Final on Tuesday (November 10) and clinched their fifth trophy. While Delhi players looked under a lot of pressure in the high-stakes final, their counterparts seemed relaxed and under control all through the game.
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Dravid, the former India A and Under-19 Head Coach, opined the strong core of high-quality T20 players which makes Mumbai such a formidable side in the cash-rich league.
“They (MI) have a strong core with high quality. Their core is built with world-class T20 players and balanced it with young exciting talent. They have a very strong scouting structure in place,” Dravid said.
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Highlighting the importance of the kind of platform IPL provides to its uncapped players, the former Delhi Daredevils’ coach cited the example of Rajasthan Royals’ all-rounder Rahul Tewatia. The Karnataka stalwart said it is because of IPL that someone like Tewatia from Haryana has been able to showcase his skills to a global audience.
“Earlier, you only depended on your state association to select you for Ranji Trophy. Now, from a state like Haryana which produces so many quality spinners like Yuzvendra Chahal, Amit Mishra and Jayant Yadav, Tewatia would have had limited opportunities.
“So it’s no longer limited to state associations,” said Dravid. He spoke about the heady feeling of playing international cricket without actually playing one, which the IPL provides.
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“As coaches, we can help the young players in their journeys but what helps them grow is experience. Look at a Devdutt Padikkal who is batting alongside Virat Kohli or can learn from AB de Villiers.”
Another aspect in which the IPL has helped young players is the availability of worthwhile data to improve their game.
“Look at someone like T Natarajan. It was because of the quality of data that he was able to go back and work on his yorker and that one skill has now got him into the Indian team,” he said.
The last decade (2011-2020), according to Dravid, has been India’s best in terms of white-ball cricket and the IPL has contributed with its appropriate tagline ‘talent meets opportunity’.
“It has been India’s best performing decade in white-ball cricket. We won a World Cup (2011), Champions Trophy (2013) and reached semi-finals and finals of World T20. Young players have learnt a lot watching and listening to experts on TV,” he said.
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