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IPL: Making players fearless & skilful

Many a time people ask me, what is the biggest impact of the IPL on Indian cricket. I have played and seen domestic cricket and have been part of the IPL since its inception. Harbhajan Singh writes Bhajji says

cricket Updated: Apr 20, 2011 01:18 IST

Many a time people ask me, what is the biggest impact of the IPL on Indian cricket. I have played and seen domestic cricket and have been part of the IPL since its inception. I can safely say that it has removed the gap between domestic and international cricket. In fact, it has become a bridge between the two. Trust me, before the IPL, there used to be a chasm between domestic and international cricket, and surmounting it was never easy. I have seen many talented cricketers sinking in this process.

First and foremost, the level of the game is completely different. For example, if you are a batsman in domestic cricket, you will get one bad ball in every over. But in international cricket, it will come down to one in five or 10 overs. So, you need to be exceptional in your skills, will, mental strength and physical ability to succeed. But thanks to IPL, youngsters are exposed to different kinds of pressures and demands. The level of cricket is not as gruelling as international cricket but it's definitely much more professional and demanding than domestic cricket.

Immense exposure
This exposure has removed the fear factor and also changed the way youngsters approach the game. Just look at players like Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and R Ashwin. They have become used to dealing with the pressures of scoring runs at a particular rate or saving them at crucial times. And, when it comes to translating this skill at a higher level under pressure, they are ready and up for it.

Here, they share the dressing room with people like Tendulkar and Kallis. They face the guile and fire of bowlers like Warne and Malinga everyday. They have batsmen like de Villiers and Watson challenging them in every spell. So, all their anxiety and unease of watching these stars and challenging them is more or less settled.

Getting a headstart
This format has given a new lease of life to One-day cricket. Look at the way some of these young boys play One-day cricket. They are confident and ready to take bold steps at a very early stage in their careers. Let's hope the IPL produces many more youngsters for Indian cricket to secure its future.
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