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IPL has brought together the best brains

IPL has indeed brought together an array of thinking cricketers and coaches. Their attention to detail is what makes them brilliant in specific departments and they’re happily sharing it with others.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2010 23:11 IST

IPL III may well be about the Mongoose Bat, the mammoth slow overrate fines, Yuvraj Singh’s form woes, Sreesanth’s rather daft flare-up, and the other peripherals that have the tendency of becoming the talking point. Yet, there is something about this particular season that reassures me.

Remember that stupendous catch Hussey took on the boundary line to dismiss Paul Collingwood? Or many more such efforts that haven’t ceased to surprise us. We’d agree that these catches were exceptional, involving presence of mind -— to keep the ball in play, immense core strength to go on the other side of the rope, yet not far enough to come back in, and above all a lot of practice.

While some may dismiss them as flukes, I give credit to practice. Yes, players do practice taking such catches and much more in this day and age. While saving runs and taking catches are important in all formats, it is at times, the deciding factor in T20 where the difference between a win and loss is only a few runs.

It’s not only the youngsters who’re raising the bar, the seniors are contributing equally. Remember the one-handed catch by Ganguly?

Most teams get only a few days prior to the tournament. There’s only so much a team can do in such a short time. With regards to batting and bowling, it’s mostly about assigning roles to individuals, for if you try to change the way someone plays, there isn’t enough time to imbibe the changes.

The only thing that a team can do is to spend lots of time on getting their fielding right. We, at KKR, had spent countless hours on improving our fielding skills. Most teams are doing the same and brilliance on the field is an outcome of efforts put in during the practice sessions.

Coming back to the Hussey catch, teams have included that drill in their fielding sessions where you stand next to the rope and try and save the six or catch it.

I saw Jonty Rhodes show the Mumbai Indians how to do it. Similarly, Ricky Ponting taught us how to line ourselves up while attempting a direct hit. I daresay, Dada might have picked up the basics from him.

IPL has indeed brought together an array of thinking cricketers and coaches. Their attention to detail is what makes them brilliant in specific departments and they’re happily sharing it with others.