IPL is just around the corner with the first match scheduled between the defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings on September 19. Players from the majority of the cricket playing nations are participating with few of them opting to stay away from the tournament for their own reasons.
Soon after the IPL that ends on November 10, Australia and India are bound to play the Border-Gavaskar trophy sandwiched between a limited over T20I and ODI series. IPL is known to have produced electrifying matches with intense and tight finishes, jaw-dropping scenarios, nail-biting thrillers, it can a perfect practice for Aus-Ind series bound players.
Mohammed Shami, Kings XI Punjab main and strike bowler has also said that IPL can be a good preparation for the upcoming Border-Gavaskar trophy.
He said, “It would be great that the Australia-bound players are playing IPL. It will set the body and momentum perfectly by then.”
“I feel it’s better that we are playing the IPL before a big series. Apart from the IPL, everyone is also focused on that tour. There is a lot of talk about that series. We will have a good contest.”
The last time India toured Australia; they came back after changing a bit of history. No Asian team has previously beaten Australia in Australia and Virat Kohli’s men became the first lot to do that. India won the four-match Test series 2-1 with everyone playing its part. Shami played its part by picking up 16 wickets in the series.
Shami also added, “It has been a long time since we played cricket. Everyone is happy like kids in a candy store after getting back to the sport they love the most. We had a practice match on Thursday, I didn’t face any issues. Everyone is getting back to rhythm. I didn’t feel much difference.”
Ian Chappel has also said that the upcoming IPL will be a good practice for the forthcoming Australia-India series. The former Australian captain has written on the Cricinfo website, “With venue bubbles, isolation rules, social distancing, and a number of changes to playing conditions, adapting to international competition has been testing for players”.
“It’s made life difficult and different even in a team environment but imagine the individual’s dilemma in enforced isolation with a tour looming.”
Australia and India are unlikely to get any international games now before the series will begin in December. The players will fly directly to Australian after the conclusion of IPL on November 10.
Ravi Shastri, the India Cricket Team head coach has also said the same thing. Shastri feels that IPL is a welcome tournament since there isn’t been much cricket around.
Talking to the Gulf News, he said, “Here we are talking about not playing cricket for five months, the sport had come to a halt for six years during World War II. Nobody saw it coming, it was a shock to the system which destroyed so many lives and livelihood…what can you do about it!”
“All the Indian players have been out of action for the last five months, while there is no home and away advantage as well. The good thing is they are starting with the T-20 format and not Test matches, which gets over in just over three hours”.
“The IPL could not have come at a better time as it would give some match time to Virat Kohli and the boys.”
The Border-Gavaskar trophy is a part of the ICC World Test Championship. Currently, India are the table-toppers with Australia is the second-most dominant side. India have played four series and leading the pack with 360 points while Australia have played three series and carry 296 points.
Each team will play six series; three home and three away, with the top two teams will play the final at the Lord’s.