MSD refuses to blame IPL

On the fourth day of the final Test, India’s bowling coach Eric Simons had said ‘it wasn’t part of his profile’ when asked if he had a say in how much amount of cricket a bowler should play. On the final day, after England had completed India’s final rites, Dhoni was asked if coach Duncan Fletcher should have control players taking part in the IPL. “Let's see and hope for the best who gets empowered and who gets the power,” Dhoni remarked with a trademark grin. “Hopefully (then) we won’t miss players if you all feel it’s because of the IPL,” he then added.

When pointed out that India’s performance has taken a beating in three major events following the IPL event since 2009 (the two World T20s and now the Test series in England) the Indian skipper said: “Well, this was not just after the IPL. So let’s not bring everything out of cricket and put it on IPL.” Dhoni is the most successful captain in the IPL having led the Chennai Super Kings to two back-to-back IPL titles, besides the Champions League T20 triumph. England captain Andrew Strauss rubbed it in further when asked if his team had benefitted from the fact that most of its players did not take part in the IPL. “You can never hold it against a player for wanting to play in the IPL for financial reason or for improving their game or whatever. But in some ways, we have been less affected by it than other sides. And as an England team, looking at it purely from an England’s perspective, there have been some benefits in us being less involved, but as I said you can understand players desire to be involved in that tournament,” he reasoned.

Dhoni, meanwhile, stressed on building a supply chain for the national side. “It’s a grooming period and that’s what it’s all about,” he said when asked about India’s bench strength. “When you talk about all these senior players they have been part of the side for the last 15 years. Of course, in between you do get talented players who start scoring from the first game they play and they are superstars in their own way.
“But it’s not like you are always entitled to get those kinds of players. You will have to start grooming youngsters so that they are able to play in different conditions and different scenarios once there is pressure on them. We need to groom as many youngsters as possible and it will be all about giving confidence to the coming generation so that they are at their best when thrown at the top level,” he explained.

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