Ironically it’s the failure of some domestic players that has put the success of a few from their group in perspective.
With teams like the Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders — the two at the bottom — lamenting the failure of their domestic recruits, it becomes clear how crucial a role they have played in the success of teams perched on top.
Sachin Tendulkar admitted that the contribution from their domestic recruits wasn’t on expected lines, and was one of the reasons for their dismal performance. “I think that was probably one aspect where we lacked. Along with the big names, you also want domestic players to perform well. If they contribute and be counted, it matters a lot,” he said.
It’s been the same story for the Knight Riders. Their coach John Buchanan felt that “the lack of quality domestic players hit them hard.” Players like Ashok Dinda, Wriddhiman Saha and Laxmi Ratan Shukla have looked jaded.
It has, however, been a pleasant story for the two top teams — the Delhi Daredevils and the Chennai Super Kings. For the Daredevils, the foreigners set the ball rolling, bagging Man-of-the-Match awards in their first four wins. Thereafter, the domestic players joined the party. Ashish Nehra, Rajat Bhatia and Pradeep Sangwan all came up with sterling performances.
“We always had faith in their abilities. I knew what Rajat can do and that’s why I bowl him in pressure situations,” said Sehwag after Bhatia turned the match around against the Deccan Chargers with a four-wicket haul.
The Super Kings, too, have benefited from the efforts of their domestic players. They have undoubtedly got brilliant starts from Matthew Hayden, but the contribution of domestic players, especially in bowling, has been too big to ignore with Lakshmipathy Balaji and Shadab Jakati shouldering bowling responsibilities. “I think the role of domestic cricketers is crucial, especially the bowlers. Most of the foreigners are batsmen, so one needs to depend on domestic players to refurbish one’s bowling resources,” said Dhoni.