With the Test win in Perth and the tri-series win Down Under, the rise of a phenomenon called the Indian Premier League (IPL), Indian cricket and its religious followers couldn't have asked for more. Despite Dhoni's devils and the IPL auctions dominating the media coverage, one can't afford to forget that the Indian cricket team is scheduled to play more than a dozen Test matches over the next 12 months.
With less than two weeks to go for the three-Test home series against South Africa, VVS Laxman, who is sure to play an integral part in the longest version of the game, said that playing so much Test cricket was "demanding" on all the players. "No doubt it's demanding," Laxman said after launching Neo Sports' 'India's Race to No. 1 — Test cricket' campaign here on Thursday. "It's going to be tough both physically and mentally. I hope everyone copes up with it."
The first of the three Tests against South Africa begins in Chennai on March 26. Still, the IPL has been weighing on most of the players' minds, as is evident from the ongoing promotional activities.
"Obviously IPL is an exciting format," Laxman, who will lead the Hyderabad franchise in the eight-team tournament, said. "It's something which is being tried for the first time and I am sure it will succeed."
So how will the players be able to maintain their focus on the Test series as the IPL, which starts on April 18, draws closer? "All the players are professionals," came the answer from the stylish middle-order batsman. "I am sure they understand their priorities and it (focussing) on the Test series, will not be a problem."