India coach Gary Kirsten believes rubbing shoulders with some of the world's best cricketers in the Indian Premier League has been of immense help to young Indian players.
"The IPL provides a great opportunity for young Indian cricketers to show what they are capable of in a high-profile environment," Kirsten said.
"They also get to mix with, and learn from, successful international cricketers. This can only be of benefit to Indian cricket. Performances during the IPL can definitely be a stepping stone to achieving higher honours. Yusuf Pathan was one example of that last year," said the former South African player.
According to Kirsten, the IPL has shown that the best team on paper need not be successful on the pitch.
"There will always be new ideas and new thinking in every IPL. What is of interest to me are those teams that are able to win consistently and why they are able to do it. It isn't always the best team on paper," the 41-year-old told 'Cricinfo'.
Kirsten had a sympathetic view of John Buchanan's multiple-captaincy theory but said as far as the Indian team is concerned, Mahendra Singh Dhoni remains the skipper.
"In the dynamic world we live in, innovative thinking is important to try and stay ahead and push the boundaries of performance. I think it is important to balance out what is already working and what can improve performance," Kirsten said about Buchanan's plan for his Kolkata Knight Riders team.
"MS Dhoni has proved a highly effective and capable leader for India and I'm sure that will not change for some time to come," he said.