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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Columns

CLT20 is an eye opener for the IPL teams
Aakash Chopra
October 21, 2012
First Published: 23:01 IST(21/10/2012)
Last Updated: 23:03 IST(21/10/2012)

Here's a little quiz - which T20 league is considered to be the best in the World? Which league gets the maximum number of entries into the Champions League, that too without the hassle of playing in the qualifier stage? Which team is allowed to field four (at times 5 players also) overseas players and also has as many as 10 overseas players to choose from? Lastly, which team can cajole players to play against their own state/county in the Champions League?

Well, if the answer to all the above questions is the 'IPL', it's only fair to assume that these teams should be runaway favorites to win the tournament. If you have all these privileges, it really shouldn't matter whether the tournament is hosted in India, South Africa, Australia or even Antarctica.

Unfortunately though, that hasn't been the case with the IPL teams in this edition of CLT20. The most consistent IPL team so far, the Chennai Super Kings is struggling with the balance, which is quite skewed at the moment.

The same can be said about last year's IPL champions KKR, for their plethora of slow bowlers, with the exception of Sunil Narine, are proving ineffective. It's fine to take the pace off the ball on slow/low Indian pitches because the ball stops on the surface, but the same strategy is proving futile on fast and bouncy SA pitches.

In the last five years of the IPL, even though the most successful bowlers have always been the overseas recruits, it's the Indian batsmen who've always done the bulk of the scoring. So far, that's what hasn't happened in South Africa. Top Indian batsmen have looked a little out of sorts on lively South African pitches.

This CLT20 is likely to work as an eye-opener for the IPL franchisees.

While signing up 30 cricketers for the next edition of the IPL, they might want to keep an eye on the venue of next year's Champions League too.

The writer is a former India opener


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