IPL: Indians not getting fair deal?
What a final it was! It was just the kind of well-fought game that was needed to finish off what was another great edition of the Indian Premier League. Nothing is more disappointing than a one-sided final.
As for the month-and-a-half long tournament, I have to be honest and say that I didn't think tactics played a huge role of this slam-bang format. Sure, the use of slow bowlers straightaway was 'tactical', but it's been used before in the 50-overs format.
The field placing, though, was more interesting as it showed that captains were just not looking to rotate the bowlers and hoping for the best. They were also preparing the 'groundwork' for different batsmen before employing the bowlers accordingly.
The Chargers skipper, Adam Gilchrist, was hardly ever given a seam bowler and every rival captain made sure that a spinner was operating when the Australian opened the innings. What was surprising was that Gilchrist, despite going through the horror patch, did not think of dropping himself down the order.
I'm curious why didn't anyone take note of Gilly's bad patch even as Yuvraj Singh was made to look like a villain for his poor performance. It's a perception that if an Indian player fails, he is not showing team spirit, but when a foreign player hits a bad patch it's blamed on poor form. It's the same with coaches, selectors and administrators.
An Indian coach , selector or administrator is often perceived as favouring his club, state or zone players, but no overseas coaches or selectors are painted in the same colour.
Take for example the players brought in by overseas captains and coaches. Most, if not all, overseas Rajasthan Royals players are from Victoria and Hampshire where Warne has played. The fact is people are more comfortable with players with whom they've played. Did anyone question Damien Martyn's selection for the Royals at the age of 40?
Would an Indian first-class cricketer, who has played three-four seasons, be picked like Martyn was at that age? Captains have got their pals as coaches; coaches in turn have their pals as support staff. Nothing wrong with that, for it's just the comfort factor of working with someone you know and have faith in.
But just imagine if an Indian were to do that.
The National Cricket Academy in Bangalore produces coaches, trainers, physios every year but none of them ever gets to be part of the IPL even as assistants. This is the Indian Premier League and if qualified Indian coaches, trainers, physios are not going to get the opportunity to learn and practice their skills, then who will?