Acclimatised: The short turnover between the IPL and T20 World Cup might work well for the Indians

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Acclimatised: The short turnover between the IPL and T20 World Cup might work well for the Indians

By Tanya Kini

After the 209-run loss to Australia in the World Test Championship final in 2023, India captain Rohit Sharma had talked about the struggle in shifting between Twenty20 cricket and Test cricket.

At the post-match press conference, he explained the difficulties in shifting the bowling mindset between the two formats, because a player has to “bowl different lengths, different lines, lot of change-ups” in T20 cricket, as compared to red-ball cricket.

He spoke of those adjustments because the majority of the Indian players had travelled to London for the World Test Championship Final that was scheduled to begin on June 7, 2023, after finishing up their Indian Premier League commitments on May 28.

They did not have enough time to rest, recover, and even acclimatise to the vastly different format of the sport they were about to play. The Australians though, came in fresh and ready.

In T20 cricket, the batting lasts for a maximum of 20 overs and bowlers can bowl no more than four overs in the innings. It is a format that deals with explosiveness.

Test cricket requires patience, endurance, and the ability to stay focused for hours on end under the sun. It is a gruelling contest that lasts five days.

It takes time to make those shifts between formats – something that the Indian team was not afforded when they travelled to London last year.

On June 2, in the United States, the Indian team will find themselves in a similar position. Barely a week after the end of the IPL 2024, they start their campaign at the 2024 Men’s Twenty20 World Cup.

This time though, there is not much adjustment required by the Indian squad, or any of the other international players competing for other teams at the World Cup.

The main reason is that the IPL and the World Cup follow the same format. The biggest switches will be the changes in venue and that now they are playing for the national team.

One more bizarre advantage the Indians had is that none of their players selected for the World Cup squad had reached the final, meaning that half the squad had already departed for the US.

Although none of the players were able to push their team into the 2024 IPL final, some key players that India will look to for their title hunt ended the tournament in imperious form.

Virat Kohli was awarded the Orange Cap for most runs scored, Yuzvendra Chahal finished with 18 wickets to his name and the likes of Rishabh Pant (in his competitive return from a horrific car accident), Axar Patel, Yashasvi Jaiswal and others also got good playing time and exposure against quality opposition.

Siraj himself indicated in his post-match comments that he regained his rhythm in the format after consistent practice because of the IPL.

Aside from India, other teams will also be unperturbed by the lack of turnaround between the IPL and the T20 World Cup. Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Travis Head for Australia; Heinrich Klassen, Aiden Markram and Anrich Nortje for South Africa; Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Shai Hope for West Indies – all these players were match-winners in their own right for their respective IPL teams.

This time round, the journey is longer and the jet lag could hit harder. But perhaps the silver lining here is the short break between the two tournaments – events that followed the same rules and format – could prove beneficial not just for India, but for the rest as well.

In many ways, the IPL was an ideal – albeit long – warm-up for the World Cup.

Fun fact of the week: In the recently concluded Indian Premier League season, teams scored 200+ runs a whopping 41 times. All 10 teams competing scored at least one minimum score of 200. In this “explosive” season, teams also set a new record of hitting 1,260 sixes in total. Several more records were broken this season, click here to find out more.

Here's a recap of the top stories from this past week

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