Is IPL affecting India's Test show? former players divided

India's catastrophic performance in the Test tours of England and Australia has triggered a heated debate as to whether the cash-rich IPL is wrecking havoc with the players' technique and temperament.

While some former players consider the glamorous Twenty20 event as one of the prime reasons for the Test slump, others feel that one event cannot alter a player's basic technique and approach towards the game.

After being whitewashed 0-4 in England last year, India are staring down the barrel in Australia as well, trailing the four-match series 0-3 right now.

The famed batting line-up that was supposed to make the most of what was touted as India's best chance of winning a series Down Under has let the team down with even veterans such as Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman struggling on the bouncy tracks.

The team has failed to take even a single match of the series to five days so far, losing the third in Perth with two and half days to spare. The shocking display has left the cricket fraternity baffled as to what has gone wrong with the side which was world number one some months back.

Former Indian captain Bishan Singh Bedi felt that IPL's emergence is one of the primary reasons for India's disastrous performance overseas.

"If one starts putting things in a broader perspective, you must understand that this is exactly what happens when you have non-cricketers running the show. You want to run a professional body and at the same time you have all honorary posts," Bedi told PTI.

"The game of cricket always had a philosophy but sadly IPL doesn't have any philosophy. It's just a 'hit and run' game. Cricket is indeed a commercial game but the BCCI should have known where to draw a line as far as commerce is concerned."

Bedi was also very vocal about the "role" of BCCI's technical committee which has now been in existence for nearly two decades.

"The BCCI technical committee is supposed to be the most important committee which should take all major decisions. Sunil Gavaskar headed it for a long time and now Sourav Ganguly is the chairman.

Tell me what has been the contribution of this committee for the development of game? They have done absolutely nothing" he stated.

But another former Test skipper Dilip Vengsarkar refused to blame it completely on IPL and said lack of proper planning by the BCCI is the prime reason for the dismal show.

"IPL is not the only thing that is affecting the performance. The (tour itinerary) is faulty. There were not sufficient games before the start of the series or in between the Tests. The reserves in the team, like Rohit Sharma and wicket keeper Wriddhiman Saha have not played for more than a month," said the former national chief selector.

Vengsarkar felt the IPL should not be overdone and ideally be over in a month's time.
Former India pacer Manoj Prabhakar said youngsters nowadays want to be a part of cash-rich extravaganza by any means rather than honing their skills in domestic cricket.

"Have you seen any youngster saying that I want to play Ranji Trophy? No. You would only hear them say "Bhai kuch bhi karke IPL mein khila do humein (Just get an IPL contract for me). No one wants to work hard when you can earn crores by playing a month and a half of T20 cricket," Prabhakar said.

"Is the board bothered about the health of domestic cricket? When you can be a millionaire without playing real form that is Test cricket -- you won't have that required passion and hunger to succeed at international stage," he added.

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